What happened in Venezuela?


Sydney Strickland, News Reporter

The current economic crisis in Venezuela has left many people around the world wondering how Venezuela could go from being one of the wealthiest countries in South America to a state in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

The country is suffering from staggering hyperinflation that is causing a severe shortage of food and medical supplies, and nearly 90 percent of the country’s population is living below poverty standards. Many countries around the world, including the United States, have expressed their desire to help the Venezuelan people and have even sent humanitarian aid and supplies.

This has been unsuccessful in helping the people because the current Venezuelan administration, led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro, is barring any aid from coming into the country. The regime has even placed physical obstacles, including overturned tanker trucks, to block funding from entering the country.

The latest crisis began when Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido, declared himself President and started asking other countries to provide aid for starving Venezuelans. Maduro has firmly rejected the notion of accepting humanitarian assistance. He has claimed that it is because the Venezuelans are not beggars and will not accept the aid. However, that hasn’t stopped international aid from reaching a bridge that connects Cucuta, Columbia, and Venezuela.

Now, the opposition will have to figure out how to get the food and medical supplies into the country and to the people who desperately need it. Leaders from around the world are demanding that the Maduro administration and his military regime stop blocking the humanitarian aid and emergency supplies from reaching all the starving people. This crossroad has been years in the making and began in 2010 when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez started to implementing his populist policies within the country which led to the escalation of wide-spread corruption and fiscal mismanagement within the Government and the Judiciary.

The entanglement worsened when the price of oil exports continued to drop leading to the worst economic collapse in Venezuelan history, creating significant shortages of food and supplies. Millions of Venezuelans have been forced to flee the country, while many more desperately search for food and supplies for survival.