Over the holiday period, the government seized the political initiative ahead of a difficult year that will end with legislative elections. Maduro reshuffled his foreign policy team and announced a six-month economic recovery plan, before heading to China to secure a reported 20 billion dollars of new financing. In the National Assembly, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) broke with its own constitution to renew judicial, electoral and citizen powers (ombudsman, attorney general and comptroller general) amid claims of opposition filibustering.
- Tentative economic policy reforms will not keep pace with the impact of oil price falls.
- A divided opposition will be focused on the pending anniversary of last year's violent protests.
- Following sanctions in December, the United States will increase pressure over the trial of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.