Since the end of the Cold War, no government in the hemisphere—even Cuba—has been the focus of such persistent tensions with the US, and such divergent explanations for commonly observed events and conditions. The extreme political polarization of Venezuelan society echoes and reinforces these perplexing divergences. This Foro Urgente will feature the analysis of six recognized experts on Venezuelan politics, economics, and society—including two Venezuelan citizens—followed by direct engagement with one another over key differences in fact and interpretation. Three questions will guide this lively educational dialogue: 1) what are the root explanations for the stark deterioration of social life—violence, economic distress, intractable political conflict—in Venezuela today? 2) how should we understand the US role in this social suffering, and how might the US best contribute to its alleviation? 3) even amid chronic polarization, are there constructive principles on which most Venezuelans might agree as a basis for exploring resolutions to this multifaceted crisis?