Scholarly activist, focused on rebuilding Venezuelan democracy and promoting social change through the force of new ideas
Venezuela is my passion. Ever since I was a boy, politics has been my thing, and I was fortunate to have my political school at home. From my great-aunt and godmother, Mercedes, I learned the value of democracy and the sacrifices that generations of Venezuelans made to conquer it, facing persecution, death and exile. From my dad I learned that Venezuela can be much more, that that demands deep changes and that in that effort we must be united, with special care to asume politics from the bottom up and better the lives of those that have less.
That interest in politics led me to asume, at 18 years old, as Secretary of Youth for Acción Democrática in the Baruta municipality of Caracas. I’m very proud of the work that, as a team, we did in that period.
At the same time, I started my studies of Sociology at Andrés Bello Catholic University, during times of turmoil for the country. I also took my first steps as a columnist for different papers. In 2004 I assumed important responsibilities in the organization of the recall referendum against Hugo Chávez. Although we weren’t successful, it was a campaign filled with lessons, that allowed me to carry out grassroots politics and to deeply get to know the slums and sectors of my city.
I believe in Venezuela, in the power of its people and in the transformative force of democracy
I mentioned times of turmoil. In 2005, AD supported electoral abstention and that generated important internal differences that led to us leaving the organization. Along came times of political independence.
I spent the next years studying, writing and teaching. In 2012 I got involved in an initiative by the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática that sought to form the presidential primary candidates’ teams. When Henrique Capriles won the primary election, I joined his Campaign Managers office at Comando Venezuela, touring the country with the message of change. It was an amazing campaign, in which we gave our best. The next year, I worked in the Campaign Headquarters at Comando Simón Bolívar. A month before the 2012 presidential elections I joined Primero Justicia, accepting the invitation to promote progress. There, I was National Activism Coordinator and, then, Secretary of Organization for Caracas, where I participated in the effort to recover the city’s underprivileged communities.
In 2014 I decided to pursue another dream: Academia. I begun to teach at my Alma Mater, UCAB, and joined its Center for Political Studies. Soon after, I took over as Editor of its magazine, PolítiKa UCAB, which today is recognized as a solid reference for political analysis in Venezuela. My research lines are democratic institutions; democratic culture, legitimacy and participation; and nonviolent action. The projects I’m involved in include the Venezuelan Electoral Integrity Project and the Democratic Transitions Project. In 2016 I published my chapter “People Matter: Popular Mobilization and Democratization”, in the book Transición democrática o autocratización revolucionaria, edited by Ediciones AB.
The goal is still the same: to make Venezuela into a prosperous country, with a solid democracy, justice and freedom
I have published articles for different national and international media outlets, both in Spanish and English. Among them, Tal Cual, El Universal (until I was censored along with a handful of critical columnists), Open Democracy and America’s Quarterly. As an activist and analyst, I have been interviewed by media such as El Nacional, Globovisión, Televén, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, BBC Mundo, The Wall Street Journal and CGTN China.
Currently I have a foot in politics and the other in the University. The goal is still the same: to make Venezuela into a prosperous country, with a solid democracy, justice and freedom. I believe in Venezuela, in the power of its people and in the transformative force of democracy.
Residing in Caracas, I’m a faithful fan of the glorious Tiburones de La Guaira and the New York Yankees. I love hip-hop, salsa, The Beatles and pizza.