Carlos Alfredo Vecchio DeMari (b. 6 June 1969) is a Venezuelan lawyer, politician and social activist, named by Juan Guaidó in January 2019 during the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis—and accepted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—as Chargé d'Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States.
Early life and education
Vecchio was born on 6 June 1969 in Caripe, Monagas state, Venezuela, the youngest of three children, to Maria Teresa Demari de Vecchio, a teacher, and Rafael Vecchio, a political activist and three-term council person for Caripe. He moved to Caracas in 1987, studied at the Central University of Venezuela, and earned his law degree in 1992. He did postgraduate studies in law at Georgetown University and public administration at Harvard University, where he was a Fulbright scholar at the Kennedy School of Government.
Vecchio helped found the social-democratic Popular Will (Spanish: Voluntad Popular) political party with Leopoldo López and Guaidó. With López imprisoned by the Venezuelan government, Vecchio was serving as leader of the party, when he was charged with incitement to violence. He went into hiding, and later sought exile in the US.
In January 2019, Vecchio was named by Juan Guaidó, and accepted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as Chargé d'Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States. In that capacity he has participated in efforts to remove Maduro. He told the Washington Diplomat that the outgoing Maduro embassy staff had taken all valuables from the Washington Embassy as they left. “They dismantled everything, but we need to recover all of it legally because I want to have in the official record how we received those assets, to show the Venezuelan people what they did.”
Michael Shifter told The Washington Diplomat that Vecchio is "extremely impressive and sharp ... He’s got the background, skills and temperament for the job ... he’s level-headed and realistic, and he’s been in this fight for a long time." The director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, Jason Marczak, said "he’s eloquent and articulate, and he’s able to maneuver in different circles", and that he will need to educate "folks like Bernie Sanders and others on the Hill who have started becoming critical of U.S. policy there."
During an appearance on the BBC Four Beyond 100 Days news programme on April 30, 2019, the programme hosts referred to Vecchio as Venezuala's "Ambassador to the US", rather than as the US-recognized Chargé d'Affaires.
- Vecchio, Carlos with foreword by Luis Almagro and introduction by Leopoldo López (19 June 2018). Libres: El nacimiento de una nueva Venezuela (in Spanish). Círculo Editorial Visión Progresista / Editorial Dahbar / Cyngular Asesoría 357, C.A. ASIN B07DVTJCF6.
- "Carlos Vecchio: Quién Soy" (in Spanish). Carlos Vecchio. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Pompeo, Mike (27 January 2019). "Representative of the Government of Venezuela to the United States" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Shaikh, Salaar and Azad Amanat (9 November 2013). "An Interview with Yale World Fellow, Carlos Vecchio". The Politic. Yale University. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Luxner, Larry (26 February 2019). "Exclusive: Venezuela's U.S.-Recognized Envoy Insists Democracy Will Triumph Over Dictatorship". The Washington Diplomat. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
- "Carlos Vecchio". Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program. Yale University. 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Mogollan, Mery and Chris Kraul (28 February 2014). "Venezuela seeks opposition figure's arrest; protest death toll rises". LA Times. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Padgett, time (18 May 2017). "Venezuela's Exiled Opposition Leader Vecchio: Regime May Be 'Close To Breaking Point'". WLRN. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Dirigente de Voluntad Popular, Carlos Vecchio, se fue del país pese a orden de captura". Diario Panorama (in Spanish). 9 February 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Carlos Vecchio on Twitter
- Opposition leaders at risk, Yale fellows
- From Yale to jail? Yale alumni magazine
- Wanted in Venezuela, Yale, The Politic