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Venezuela faces worst economic crisis in country's history

by Christopher Suarez - campus talk editor
Tue, Mar 5th 2019 10:00 pm
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Desperation With the lack of food and resources needed, the people of Venezuela are scrapping for food wherever they can find it. They have to resort to digging through garbage to find food to eat (above). This is due to the Venezuelan government not allowing aid to enter the country (below). People have rioted and protested for circumstances to change but President Nicolas Maduro denies multiple problems plaguing the country.

Citizens of the United States may take the benefits and opportunities presented to them for granted. Many never have to worry about when their next meal will be, something that people in other parts of the world dream about. In Venezuela, citizens are searching through garbage receptacles for food and common necessities. People are even breaking into zoos to eat the animals inside. 

The education system of the country is partly nonexistent because children are not going to school due to starvation. Along with the starvation issue, the country has become a war zone with multiple riots breaking out on a regular basis.

The lack of food and constant chaos is the result of the current economy in Venezuela, which has been in decline for a number of years. 

According to The Infographics Show on YouTube, former president Hugo Chavez was loved by the population but left the country in a horrible economic state. Chavez set up multiple government programs to benefit the people and lower the percentage of poverty in the country. 

Through all these social programs, Chavez saw himself spending a lot more money than they could afford. The people benefited from these programs but the country saw itself in extreme debt. The country was $106 billion in foreign debt by 2013. 

Venezuela’s main export is oil, and most of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) derives from the sale of it. Recently, the prices of oil have been rapidly decreasing due to the declining economy. With the lower prices on oil, the country is now finding it difficult to bring in money constantly, which is a major contributor to the economic instability. 

The final contributor to the Venezuelan economic crisis is the series of bad decisions made by current president Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has been president of Venezuela since 2013 and has ignorantly increased economic issues going on in the country.

 Since his inception, Maduro has found inefficient ways to make up for Hugo Chavez’ lack of economic awareness. To combat the high foreign debts, Maduro decided it would be best to produce more money and cause hyperinflation. 

Hyperinflation occurs when a country prints more money without taking any out of circulation, resulting in money having a lower value. With the value decreased, the prices of everyday products have now skyrocketed, leaving regular citizens struggling to pay the higher amounts. 

The problem that is now resulting from this hyperinflation is that people are rich but poor at the same time. People are getting paid a lot more money, but that money is not enough to cover the costs of hospital visits and basic needs. With the country’s extensive debt, it is difficult to buy products such as food and medicine. 

This economic crisis is causing immense chaos in Venezuela. According to The Guardian, with the decline of the healthcare system, there is now a major spread of disease impacting the citizens. An epidemic of diseases such as malaria and dengue are spreading throughout the country and there isn’t enough medicine to treat everybody. 

Throughout this whole ordeal, Maduro has been in denial on the reality of his country’s economic state. According to The Infographics Show, he does not believe that hyperinflation is occurring in Venezuela. Instead of fixing the issue, Maduro’s plan is to decrease the value of the bolivar. 

He plans on cutting five zeros from the value of the money, cut the value of the Bolivar by 95 percent and link the bolivar with Vbnezuela’s digital money, the petro. This is Maduro’s way to brush hyperinflation under the rug to make it look like it never occurred. 

But what Maduro cannot deny is the chaos happening in the country. Multiple riots have broken out in the country and people are protesting the corrupt government. 

Outside humanitarian groups have sent out convoys to aid the citizens of Venezuela, but Maduro has restricted these humanitarian groups from entering and helping out citizens. In response to the aids coming through the Colombian and Brazilian border, Maduro has sent out military forces to combat the humanitarian efforts. According to CNBC, two people were killed in a confrontation with the military at the Colombian-Venezuelan border. 

Maduro broke diplomatic relationship with Colombia and denied needing any help with aiding his people. According to CNBC, Maduro has also reached out to the United States saying the country does not need any aid. 

“What do Venezuelan people think of Donald Trump?” Maduro said. “Get your hands off Venezuela Donald Trump, Yankee go home. He is sending us rotten food, thank you.”  

The crisis in Venezuela is only getting worse. In order for the country to prosper, Maduro needs to be removed from office in order to allow Venezuela get back to the prosperous country it once was. 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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