The Crisis in Venezuela

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The Crisis in Venezuela

Jordan Magee and Bianca Reyes

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   Recently, riots and uncontrollable violence has broken out in Venezuela over the country’s presidency. The current president, Nicolas Maduro, has been in office since 2013 after the death of the previous president, Hugo Chavez. He worked as vice president during his death, but then took presidency soon after. Within this new administration, Maduro was able to continue funding Chavez’s popular social programs such as low-income housing and subsidized food distribution.

   However, Maduro has been unable to continue funding these social programs and the government began to spend less on the state-run oil industry. This engendered production to fall and Maduro started to fail as a president. He and the Venezuelan government were too dependent on oil revenue which forced them to suffer due to long-overlooked structural issues. This has created a shortage of consumer goods such as food and the economy went into a decline. One unbelievable fact is that the number of Venezuelans “living below the poverty line has risen to 90 percent” according to the National Institute of Statistics in Venezuela.

   Unfortunately, the Venezuelan constitution does not offer a “way out” in order to take Maduro out of his presidency. Despite the public’s anger and backlash towards his inaction, the government refuses to create any change. The Venezuelan people are afraid that a civil war may break out, especially due to the fact that the people desire for the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, to be president instead. The Venezuelan police and military have now taken to the streets in order to calm protests which has created an intensifying tension within the country. Now there’s only one question that is engraved into the people’s minds: What happens now and what does the future hold?

   Bianca gives her opinion on the position, it is uplifting yet quite interesting that Venezuela is on the brink of their own civil war. The fact that ninety percent of Venezuelans are underneath the poverty line is absolutely absurd. This proves that their country is in desperate need of change, and this upcoming conflict can only bring them up from the depths of poverty and pain. These people need the improvement not only for themselves but for future generations, and if endlessly fighting for a new president can give it to them, then so be it. It is my hope that Guaido will be able to uplift the people and find a way into his rightful presidency, since the people need it in this moment. They are really at rock bottom and there’s nowhere else to go but up at this point.

   Jordan also shared her view on this circumstance, it was heartbreaking to find out that ninety percent of the Venezuelan population lives under the poverty line. I had no idea they were living in such despair. I think it is a good thing that some citizens are rebelling to inform the government of their sufferings. What’s unfortunate is that the constitution can do nothing to help this situation. I would like consider myself a pacifist, however, in this case, I think war is the only outcome for Venezuela at this point. Their entire government needs to be rebuilt from the ground; perhaps the only way to do that is through war.