The Exile Effect: Venezuela’s Overseas Opposition and Social Media

Publication Year
International Crisis Group

Venezuelans abroad are an increasingly powerful voice within the opposition. Over five million have fled their homeland in recent years. While the majority left to escape economic collapse and humanitarian crisis, among them are numerous political activists fleeing repression by President Nicolás Maduro’s chavista government. These people, exiles in effect, often continue their activism abroad. They remain influential within the opposition in Venezuela, and they also help shape their host nations’ policies toward Caracas. But while they are high-profile, they tend to lean toward a tougher line than their counterparts at home. Indeed, a social media study suggests that exiles’ rhetoric becomes comparatively more strident after they go abroad. This “exile effect” could be an impediment to peace talks, which will require Maduro, the opposition and their external backers to compromise. Host nations should ensure that exiles’ voices do not dominate policy di

Publication Topic
Civil War, Insurgency, and Terrorism
Politics and Public Opinion
Political Development
Publication Type
Policy Report