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Collapse in Venezuela

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Case Overview

Set in June 2018. Venezuela’s government defaults on foreign loans, and the ensuing financial panic precipitates a true economic and political collapse.

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The Situation

Venezuela’s government defaulted last month on a large package of foreign loans, and the ensuing financial panic precipitated a true economic collapse. Their bolivars suddenly worthless, and with food and basic necessities in short supply, protestors stormed the Miraflores Palace, causing President Nicolas Maduro to flee the country. Two members of the ruling party have since claimed the presidency, but neither has been able to rally the disparate parts of the party, stabilize the economy, or establish control over most of the country’s territory. Meanwhile, protests continue and factions of the military have abandoned the government. Violence is escalating and Venezuela’s borders and coasts are increasingly unpatrolled, leading to rising reports of activity by drug traffickers and the FARC, the guerrilla group and U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The National Security Council (NSC) meets to weigh the situation, which both poses threats to the United States and offers the chance to improve relations with an influential regional power and major oil exporter. To recommend a course of action, NSC members must consider how to prioritize and pursue the U.S. interests at stake, including economic stabilization, regional security, a stable flow of oil, protection of human rights, and restoration of democratic governance and the rule of law.



  • Sovereign default and economic collapse
  • Peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and peacemaking
  • Weak states
  • Multilateralism
  • Political and economic ideologies
  • Sovereignty
  • Terrorism



  • U.S. support for democratic governance and the rule of law
  • Costs, benefits, and risks of military and other interventions
  • A stable flow of oil
  • Protection of human rights
  • Challenges of economic and political development
  • Regional security in the Americas

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