On Thursday, January 10 at 10:00 a.m., controversial leftist leader Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second 6-year term as President of Venezuela despite deteriorating economic and political conditions throughout the country. Although Maduro’s inauguration crowd was undeniably more sparse than in the past, a few leaders and foreign dignitaries made a point to make an appearance and show their support for the regime in spite of widespread international criticism.
Venezuelans refer to their country’s slums and the individual improvised constructions as ranchos (ranches). These feats of engineering are ubiquitous throughout the country; they spill down the hills and mountains surrounding the capital city of Caracas, down to the port of La Guaira north of the city and south into the Tuy valleys, and dominate the periphery of even more intermediate cities like Maracay, Ciudad Bolívar, and San Cristóbal. Some Venezuelans claim that the rancho that has overtaken the colonial town of Petare