Author Archive

Annette Idler

Dr Annette Idler is Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Programme, Pembroke College, and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. She is also Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute Geneva. Her work focuses on the links between conflict, transnational organised crime and security, and the role that violent non-state groups play in these dynamics. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in the war-torn border areas of Colombia and neighboring countries.

With Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’s death last week, the world has lost a flamboyant actor on the international stage. Yet the play seems to go on as usual. Radical change to Venezuela’s domestic and international politics is unlikely. Several polls indicate that interim president Nicolás Maduro will win the elections to be held on 14 April and his rhetoric suggests that he will continue Chávez’s policies. Even if Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate, triumphs, he will not change policies overnight. But while many have speculated about the implications for both advocates and opponents of Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution, few have cared about those at the margins of it: the “free-riders” who do not necessarily endorse Chávez’s project, but for whom it has been a convenient platform to pursue their interests. This free-riding exists on the national, regional and international level and could provoke serious security threats for Venezuela and beyond if it continues to be ignored.