Over the past year, we have seen a continuous flow of information ripple throughout headlines across the web. In short, the theme pertains that the once prosperous nation of Venezuela is on the road to ruin.
Currently, there is an ongoing anti-government protest which has tragically killed dozens of people in protest-related violence since April.
Let’s take a step back and learn a little bit on why Venezuela has metastasized into a nation of chaos and misery.
The late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (United Socialist Party) divided the country into Chavistas, which is the name given to the supporters of the socialist policies that he put forth during his time in power.
After Chavez died in 2013, Nicolas Maduro, also of the United Socialist Party was elected to lead with the promise to continue Mr. Chavez’s policies.
Chavistas think by using Venezuela’s oil riches to reduce inequality through aggressive social programs is the right thing to do.
But in reality, the Venezuelan United Socialist Party has eroded its countries democratic institutions (like overthrowing Congress) and has driven its economy to hyperinflation, starvation, and violence.
With oil accounting for about 95% of Venezuela’s export revenues, it’s downturn has not helped matters at all as with the suppressed oil revenue the government has had to restrict the social programs which have led to a loss of support from its core bankers.
1. Inflation is predicted to be 2,500% by next year and citizens are resorting to memes and barter as a medium of exchange instead to its decaying local currency
2. Central Bank of Venezuela is continuously running out of cash, however, was recently temporarily saved by Goldman Sachs.
3. 70% of the population can’t get three meals a day
4. There is virtually no medicine of any kind in the Venezuelan hospitals, which is killing mothers and babies as a result.
The list goes on and on.
The protesters have four key demands:
- Removal from office of the Supreme Court justices who issued the 29 March ruling
- General elections in 2017
- Creation of a “humanitarian channel” to allow medication to be imported to counter the severe shortages in Venezuela
- Release of all the “political prisoners”