Report summaryOne year after the opposition took control of the National Assembly nearly all the original optimism for a political transition towards more pro-business policies has faded. In the final quarter of 2016, the opposition lost its momentum and authorities formally closed the door on a presidential recall referendum. It now appears the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) could feasibly remain in power until elections in late 2018. Nevertheless, economic conditions have deteriorated and hyperinflation will stoke civil unrest in the New Year. Prolonged civil discontent could drive a political transition, but all eyes are on the military which has remained loyal to the government. As the economy worsens, the risk of sovereign default will persist despite the re-profiling of some Venezuelan debt.
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