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The Crisis of Venezuela

Liesl Quigley, Staffer

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Venezuela is currently facing turmoil on all economic, political and militaristic fronts. Over the past few weeks, protesters have been on the streets detesting the government, headed by President Nicolás Maduro. So far, 30 people have been killed as a result of clashing between the Venezuelan citizens and its police and military in Caracas.

The protests come as a result of months of shortages on basic necessities, including medicine and bread. According to a survey, around 75% of respondents have lost at least 19 pounds between 2015-2016 (Washington Post). An estimated 10 million face regular blackouts. Crime rates have gone up in the country as well. Venezuela’s economic downturn is from the sudden drop of oil, which the country was especially vulnerable to because of mismanagement. This caused for the people of Venezuela to vote overwhelmingly for the opposition party in 2015, who won 112 seats out of 167 (National Interest). This was a major blow to Maduro’s government. As a successor to the late President Hugo Chavez, the head of  Chavismo ideology, this is the first time that an opposition held a majority in the Assembly in almost two decades.

` However, even though the opposition may have control of the legislature, it does not mean that they have control over the government. The breaking point for many citizens was the pro-Maduro Supreme Court’s decision to take over control of opposition-led National assembly on March 29th. They have since retracted from the decision, but that has not stopped the protests.

There has been growing concern from private companies over the situation in Venezuela. GM has fired over 2,000 employees from their Venezuelan branch after the government seized its plant (CNBC). Venezuela has recently announced that it will remove itself from the Organization of American States (OAS). They blame the United States and western influence for the trouble they are having in their government. This comes after the OAS held a special meeting to address the crisis in Venezuela.

Little is known of what will become for the Venezuelan country. It is clear that Maduro’s power is waning and can not ease the problems anytime soon. The opposition has gained much support in the past months, but because of the violence in Caracas between demonstrators and pro-Maduro military, it is still uncertain if they will be able to maintain that power.


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The Crisis of Venezuela