Latin America and Europe facing growing authoritarianism

March 25, 2024

The Forum 2000 Foundation organized the ninth edition of the “Democratic Solidarity in Latin America” conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 13-15 March. On the last day of the conference, there was a public discussion on Latin America and Europe facing growing authoritarianism, which was attended by students and members of civil society. The event was opened by a welcome speech given by Jakub Klepal, the executive director of the Forum 2000 Foundation. The discussion hosted Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado, Toribia Lero Quispe, a member of Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly, and Carlos Malamud, a senior fellow in Latin America at the Real Instituto Espanol Elcano, Spain. The talk was moderated by Andrés Bancalari, the director of International Studies at Universidad ORT Uruguay.

Speakers made reference to the ways populist democratic governments often turn to authoritarian practices when they are in power. They mentioned the importance of strong independent institutions and discussed how to sustain democratic consensus. The Forum 2000 Foundation and members of Democratic Solidarity signed a letter requesting the Venezuelan government to comply with the Barbados Agreement on the Promotion of Political Rights and Electoral Guarantees for All (Barbados Agreement). The letter, sent to diplomatic delegations of the countries present at the signing of the agreement, calls for a fair electoral process to be guaranteed in the country and for María Corina Machado to be allowed run as the legitimate opposition candidate. Ever since Machado was overwhelmingly selected as a candidate in primary elections, the Venezuelan government has ramped up pressure on her team and declared her unfit to run for office.