Statement on the Situation in Venezuela

January 1, 2017

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) expresses deep concern about the ongoing situation in Venezuela. The decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to deprive the National Assembly of its legislative functions represented a decisive step towards authoritarian rule. The attempt to dissolve the National Assembly suppressed the constitutional tenet of separation of powers and the will of the Venezuelan people, expressed in the legislative elections of December 2015. With almost half of its members in Latin America, LASA is an international organization that affirms in the strongest terms possible the principles of academic freedom and the protection of human rights. LASA calls upon the Venezuelan government to respect the Bolivarian Constitution, respect the legislative functions of the National Assembly, and release all political prisoners. 

  • Joanne Rappaport, LASA President, Georgetown University 
  • Gil Joseph, LASA Immediate Past President, Yale University 
  • Aldo Panfichi, Vice President / President Elect, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú 
  • Patricia Tovar, Treasurer, John Jay College 
  • Evelina Dagnino, Executive Council Member, Universidade Estadual de Campinas 
  • Robin Derby, Executive Council Member, University of California, Los Angeles 
  • Maria Helena Machado, Executive Council Member, Universidade de São Paulo 
  • Claudia Ferman, Executive Council Member, University of Richmond 
  • Daniela Spenser, Executive Council Member, CIESAS / Mexico City 
  • Catalina Romero, Ex Offico Member, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú 
  • Timothy Power, Ex Officio Member, University of Oxford 
  • Florencia Garramuño, Ex Officio Member, Universidad de San Andrés 
  • Philip Oxhorn, Ex Officio Member, McGill University 
  • Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Ex Officio Member, University of Pittsburgh 
  • Jo-Marie Burt, Executive Council Member, George Mason University

About the Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional Association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 12,000 members, over 65 percent of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or