While recent Venezuelan migration largely blame the mass exodus on violations of political liberties under the current Maduro administration, little attention has been paid to the historically complex roots and socio-economic processes that have caused and aggravated this migration. Depictions of Venezuela as an ‘outlier’ among Latin American countries due to its ‘oil wealth,’ longstanding democratic tradition and ‘stable’ economic system, drive many analysts to view current conditions in the country as an ‘anomaly’ and an ‘aberration.’ However, critical perspectives help understand the current situation in the country as the product of longstanding social and political fractures. In this webinar, I present critical perspectives stemming from the social sciences to explain the current social, political, and economic juncture in Venezuela which will provide a deepen understandings of the factors driving out-migration in the country today.
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Andreina Torres Angarita is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) where she also obtained a PhD in Cultural Anthropology in 2022. Prior to embarking on her doctoral studies, Torres obtained a Joint Honors BA in Art History and International Development Studies at McGill University in Montreal and an M.Sc. in Gender and Development Studies at FLACSO-Ecuador. Currently Torres specializes in gender studies, urban anthropology, and anthropological perspectives on property. Torres’s dissertation focuses on urban transformations, citizenship claims, and State-civil society relations in contemporary Caracas, through an ethnography of state-sponsored land occupations and housing projects in the context of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Torres has a broad knowledge of Venezuelan history and politics with a focus on the changes the country has experienced in the last two decades. Her dissertation research is based on three years (2014-2017) of ethnographic fieldwork in a low-income urban community in Caracas, Venezuela and is focused on the politics of welfare provision (via housing) and grassroots activism during the Bolivarian period (1998-present).