A Venezuelan Crisis?
- By Yasser Aboraya -
When you hear Venezuela what are the first couple of things that come into your mind? Chavez? Oil? Autocratic government? If you had these guesses then you are right but you’re probably missing another keyword which is “turmoil”.
Today one of the world’s most violent places on Earth - 1 person is murdered every 21 mins. – is having a hard time, and like Burma, not enough flying F£$%s are given. To get you up and running on the lovely occasion, for the previous (god knows how much time) a guy called Leopold López has been leading an opposition against President Nicolas Maduro's government, whom is seen by many to be running the country to the ground ever since he took over after Chavez died in 2013. Maduro’s rule basically led to the current highest inflation rate in the world, an increase in the budget deficit, and a downgraded statues of “junk” for the Venezuelan bonds by S&P and Moody’s. What makes it worse is that the local Venezuelan currency dropped from an 8 to 1 exchange rate relative to the U.S. dollar at Chávez's death, to a disastrous 87 to 1 during Maduro’s.
In any case, many like lopez have been protesting due to this unfavourable economic condition, but things really started getting ugly in February 2014 when the Venezuelan police forces decided to “deal” with youth protesters which resulted in injuring and killing a number of them. Since then, riots have been much more aggressive which begs the question: will a regime change be in order, similar to the outcome of the Venezuelan riots of 1989?
To answer this question we must look at the fact that the country is currently experiencing a food crisis, the government is running out of its foreign reserves, there is a shortage of medical goods, rising unemployment rate, several blackouts, and some reports are even stating that malaria is on the rise.
Now the opposition have a number of demands which include; removing Mauduro from office and running the elections this year and releasing all political prisoners. Whether the government meets such demands or not depends on the internal relations between the key decision makers and whether international pressures will be enough to subdue the government for generic reasons like “human rights”.