Venezuela suffers economic crisis


Citizens march for change. Graphic Courtesy of Geopolitics Made Super.

Venezuela is currently suffering the worst economic crisis in its history. Despite its richness of profitable oil, hunger is widespread and basic necessities have become rationed. With an inflation rate of 482%–the highest the country has ever seen–and an unemployment rate expected to climb 13% in the next few years, Venezuela has declared a state of emergency. How has a country so rich with oil fallen so far?

It all began in early June 2010, when the dying politician Hugo Chávez declared an “economic war” due to a decrease in natural resources. This crisis has driven hundreds of thousands of destitute men, women, and children to seek refuge elsewhere. These refugees cross the borders into places like Brazil, seeking medical attention, food, and housing. Brazil, already dealing with its own poverty issues, abruptly shut its borders off to Venezuelan refugees as their local economies have been suffering from the economic strain of providing for so many people.

Many citizens blame the current President Nicolás Maduro, a target for many anti-government protests, for human rights violations and mismanagement of one of the world’s largest oil reserves. Because of these accusations, the U.S. has now placed sanctions on Venezuela as it falls from a democratic government to authoritarian rule.

The world is watching as other countries, the UN and World Courts become involved. President Donald Trump has already mentioned the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela if democracy continues to deteriorate. This crisis raises the question of how international involvement becomes necessary when nations with oppressive leaders cage their citizens and strip them of basic human freedoms.