Venezuela’s years long economic crisis has not slowed down, as the International Monetary Fund projects a 1,000,000% inflation rate by the end of 2018 (Ellsworth). The staggering statistics of Venezuela’s crisis, including both economic and humanitarian disasters, are recorded as one of the worst hyperinflation cases in modern history. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has clung to power under wavering support for his last-ditch effort policies and socialist principles.
Since the start of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, the country has been seeing mass migration that has astounded many. A late-2017 survey compiled by the group Consultores 21 discovered that more than four million Venezuelans have left the country since the start of the revolution in 1999, with another 51 percent of young adults still living there stating that they had hopes of also emigrating (La Patilla 2018).
Last weekend, Venezuelans headed to the polls for the 2018 presidential election. Nicolas Maduro, the socialist successor of Hugo Chavez, took home 5.8 million votes, according to election officials, easily winning reelection with almost 68 percent of the overall votes (Neuman & Casey 2018). Henri Falcon, the leading opposition, fell more than 40 points behind to take second (Smith and Goodman 2018).
On Sunday, October 15, President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela won a surprising majority in 17 of the country’s 23 states in the regional gubernatorial elections over the Democratic Unity opposition party.
As Venezuela steps further away from its democratic institutions, President Maduro and opposition leaders may begin to take steps toward a solution to the political and economic turmoil in the country. Both government and opposition leaders have accepted the invitation of the Dominican Republic to make plans to begin talks to deal with the nation’s problems. Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas invited the groups and hours later on state television President Maduro declared his intention to send a delegation.
“This government is going to fall!” was the chant that echoed through almost 50 cities and towns across Venezuela as part of the nationwide movement protesting President Nicolas Maduro’s rule.
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
The 17th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) this September resulted in another humiliation for crisis-stricken Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro when only about 10 heads of state showed up.1 The NAM, an anti-imperialist bloc of 120 nations whose last summit in Iran in 2012 drew 35 heads of state, first convened in 1961 with the goal of combating Western domination.2 Maduro’s opposition called the embarrassingly low attendance a “devastating failure” for Maduro.3 This is just one of a slew of recent difficulties