The people of Venezuela are protesting against the government in a desperate response to the economic crisis.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. But since the 2014 crash in oil prices, it has struggled to maintain a steady profit. To ensure economic stability, the government resorted to selling oil below its marginal price, selling its gold reserves and using oil infrastructure as collateral. This inevitably resulted in the dramatic currency inflation that destroyed domestic business.
President Nicolas Maduro has pursued the late President Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution, continuing policies of nationalizing large segments of the economy and promoting expensive welfare programs, leading to the country’s economic collapse. Venezuelans are no longer willing to comply with the government’s socialist revolution and are responding in protest.
At least 48 people have been killed in demonstrations, a death toll that is continuously increasing. For more than 50 days, Venezuelans have been protesting in efforts to overthrow Maduro. Prices have risen and the government does not have enough funds for imports, making even basic necessities difficult to obtain. In 2016, this lack of supply saw thousands of people cross the border into Colombia to buy food and medicine.
There is a major disconnect between the government and its people. The Maduro government has labeled the protesters as the extreme right, and it blames capitalism for fueling their disdain toward the current administration. But many Venezuelans have simply lost faith in the government’s abilities and efforts, and will continue to protest in demand for elections and change.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
Photo Credit: Apomares
For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.
In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.
We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money. Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.