The collapse of Venezuela, explained

Venezuela was once the richest country in
Latin America. It has the largest known oil reserves in the
world. And its democratic government was once praised
world wide. But today, Venezuela’s democratic institutions
and its economy are in shambles. The country has the highest inflation in the
world, making food and medicine inaccessible to most Venezuelans. Over the last four years, its GDP has fallen
35%, which is a sharper drop than the one seen during the Great Depression in the US. The country’s murder rate has surpassed
that of the most dangerous cities in the world. These conditions have sparked months of protests
against the president, Nicolas Maduro. And it’s easy to see why: the country has
become measurably worse since his election in 2013. A poll showed that about 80% of Venezuelans
want Maduro removed from office. But instead, the opposite has happened: Maduro
has consolidated his power bringing the country closer to authoritarian rule. Maduro’s political ambition became evident
in December 2015. Two years after he became president, a coalition
of opposition parties called the Democratic Unity Roundtable or MUD, won a two-thirds
majority in the National Assembly, putting Maduro’s rule at risk. In response, Maduro quickly forced out several
Supreme Court justices and filled the positions with cronies loyal to him. In March 2016, the court ruled to strip the
opposition-led National Assembly of its powers — a move that sparked massive protests across
the country. The ruling was reversed a few days later,
but the damage was done — protests continued to grow and have left about 100 dead and thousands
injured so far. Despite the violence and public outcry, Maduro
held a vote in July to elect a new governing body called the National Constituent Assembly,
which would have the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution and replace the National Assembly. And leave virtually non opposition to Maduro’s rule. With Maduro’s recent vote, Venezuelans didn’t have
a say in whether the assembly should exist. They only had the option to elect its members. But when Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez
proposed a constitutional rewrite in 1999, he first called for a referendum to propose
the election of the assembly. After most Venezuelans voted yes, they elected
a new National Constituent Assembly. See, unlike Maduro, Chavez was a charismatic
and beloved leader. In the 90s, he burst onto television sets
across the country. He blamed government corruption and Venezuela’s
elite for the economic inequality. His populist message resonated with the country’s
poor who eventually helped bring him to power. The key moment in his presidency came in 2004 when oil prices surged. Venezuela’s petroleum- dependent economy started booming and Chavez went on to spend billions from the profits on social-welfare programs for the poor. He subsidized food, improved the educational
system, built an enviable healthcare system and reduced poverty by more than half. These programs certainly helped the poor, but they served a purpose for Chavez as well. In order to be re-elected, he needed to keep
millions of poor Venezuelans happy. So he rigged the economy to do just that… He didn’t scale back Venezuela’s dependence
on oil and his unrestrained spending led to a growing deficit. Which meant all these programs would be impossible
to sustain if oil prices fell. After Chavez’s death, when Maduro took office
as his handpicked successor, that’s exactly what happened:
Oil prices plummeted in 2014 and Maduro failed to adjust. Hyperinflation has made medicines and food,
that was once subsidized, unaffordable for Venezuela’s poor, who now make up about
82% of the population. Like Chavez, Maduro has also rigged the economy
to keep himself in power, but this time it’s not benefitting the poor.
He’s exploited a complex currency system, put in place by Chavez. Maduro’s set the official exchange rate
at 10 bolivars per US dollar. But only his friends and allies have access
to this rate. In reality, the venezuelan currency has become
basically worthless. Most Venezuelans get their dollars on the
black market, where the rate is about 12,000 bolivar per dollar. The military, which got complete control of
the food supply from Maduro in 2016, is reportedly profiting off of this currency crisis. They import food at Maduro’s special currency
rate and sell it on the black market for a massive profit. So military generals and political allies,
crisis has offered a lucrative opportunity which has helped Maduro stay in power. But he can’t rely on that support alone… …which brings us back to Maduro’s recent
power grab. The opposition boycotted the vote, but Maduro
held the vote for the new constitutional assembly anyway, and won a majority. “Protests on the streets of Venezuela turned deadly after President Nicolas Maduro declares victory. The violence on Sunday very real The bomb went off near some motorcycle police wounding several. Election day clashes between protesters claiming at least 10 more lives. At least one candidate has been murdered, shot to death. Maduro’s government is trying to create the illusion of public support. Thegovernment claimed about 8 million people,
or 40% of the country, voted. But experts put that number much lower, at
just 3 million people. The international community including Peru,
Canada, Spain, Mexico and Argentina condemned the election. The US imposed financial sanctions on Maduro
and members of his government. But Maduro’s assembly, filled with loyalists,
convened anyway and it swiftly removed attorney general Luisa Ortega, leader of the opposition. Armed groups reportedly arrested several other
opposition leaders too. Whether the group will rewrite the constitution
or postpone the next presidential election remains to be seen. For now, Maduro has unprecedented power over
a country that continues to spiral out of control.

100 thoughts on “The collapse of Venezuela, explained”

  1. For more, don't miss the first episode of Vox Borders: Colombia. Johnny Harris traveled to Cúcuta, a city on the border between Colombia and Venezuela to see how the country is handling a massive wave of refugees fleeing the economic crisis. Watch:

  2. I would like to see a Vox video where they explain how socialist policies, implemented by both Maduro and Chavez, led to the collapse of the Venezuelan economy.

  3. You can thank the western powers for all this sadness and Maduro is not a dictator. he is their elected president.

  4. This is WHY Socialism NEVER works people!! Do NOT believe the lies of Bernie Sanders, AOC & her Squad along w/ the rest of the Left Leaning corrupt media – Coughs * Vox* 😏

  5. Well Socialism has nothing to do with Venezuela crisis. And it wasn't even real Socialism.
    Let's try again. s/

  6. One night I saw a dream: Something like war, some happy people shouting "Now we are free , we will become a democratic state💪🎉🎉." I saw oil, gold etc …
    After a while, those people who were once happy and screaming "Now we are free …" now they were desperate and upset and saying something like …"What happened to our oil?!!"……"Where is the gold?!!!"……."What's going onin our country?!!"……"We thought that after the "Maduro's regime", we would be free in our country"……"Why are so many private companies (from other countries) coming here?!!" …

  7. Oh just wait until they take all your oil and completely IRAQIFY your country. Then you will be begging for Chavez and Madura. They want change but they fail to realize the real reason their country is in a mess is illegal sanctions.

  8. I always thought VOX leaned toward the Socialist side…. Now, it seems like VOX is one of those, "Socialism failed there, but our view is different and better" ….You can't reason with people like that….


  10. Who would have thought that trusting your most precious resource of oil to the incompetent and corrupt goverment would have ended badly?????

  11. You went from the 90s to 2004. No mention of the US backed coup in 2002. It was short lived, massive protests put their elected leader back in office.

  12. Twenty people arguing each other about socialism on Youtube clearly doesnt substitute a book on political science.

  13. Why can’t the USA come in and fix the problem aren’t we a “super power”.We see what’s happening bet but I guesss.

  14. Life cycle of socialism and politicians attempt to grapple with it after it’s out in place. Reminds me of one of the best things Reagan said “I pledge to you a government that will not only work well but wisely, it’s ability to act, governed by prudence, and it’s willingness to do good, balanced by the knowledge that government is never more dangerous, than when it’s ability to help us, blinds us to it’s great power to harm us”

  15. More establishment propagada from Vox. Ever here of U.S. financial sanctions? That’s what is crippling Venezuela today — American neoconservative imperialism trying to secure the petro dollar

  16. Atleast in venezula people understand this. In my country sadly, people dont even understand that soon problems may come up

  17. Funny how conservatives think that this is a more realistic example of social democracy than Norway, Sweden and Denmark even though the policies we want already exist there and they are the most prosperous countries in the world.

  18. I can sell my wow account then I can buy Venezuela and conquer Latin America then I will create a large authoritarian army to march across North America under an iron fist

  19. Maduro if he does not leave may be the start of world war 3 the presence of russian troops in the country is very dangerous for the americas along with chinese inveestments its a recipe for war

  20. My take on it is, It depends on the degree of capitalism. Some capitalist countries are more corrupt than socialist ones. Most of them, actually. Look at the U.S. power grabs, with special interests shelling it out. Sweden and Canada have tighter regulation over the economy,  (capitalism a little more socialist than the U.S.), enabling more businesses to stay afloat, and not have big swings. Also- more social program $ for the poor. They are social democracies, still capitalist. Democratic socialism is more like communism, as the businesses are state owned, or co-op owned. But in a democratic framework. Communism is dictatorships like Red China or USSR. It works as long as the money is flowing to the gov't, like with the higher oil prices in Venezuela, before the oil prices crashed. And then… I believe that Venezuela would have been ok if they had just not depended so much on oil, and Chavez had diversified, not seized land from the wealthy, and had more foreign investment and business, free enterprise, but with socialism, like Sweden or Canada.

  21. So many commenters are mistaking socialism with communism. Socialism combines good elements of capitalism and communism, like in Canada and Sweden. And a higher standard of living. With a broader middle class. Venezuela is communism. It's capitalist countries where businesses use automation and every other means that put people out of work, to help their revenues and profits. The U.S. has a real unemployment rate of 40%+, because about a third of the people are omitted from the count.

  22. Before money is worthless, the wealthy will stuff their coffers, with precious metals and the most valuable gems, and in real estate, in stable economic countries.

  23. im from venezuela the president make worst venezuela . but why because is stuped and i have to come to live in united states by maduro

  24. The polls are cherry-picked. The U.S. is now imposing illegal sanctions, ones illegal by the UN, AND the U.S. Last week, the U.S. seized a ship loaded with food to keep it from reaching Venezuela. This is an illegal U.S. war for control of oil. The Iran situation is identical right down to the illegal sanctions. Why have you not touched on the legality of the sanctions, VOX?

  25. Espero que puedo ayudarlos. Solo que vivo en el otro lado del mundo, Filipinas. Nuestra casa esta muy abierta para ustedes venezolanos. Ademas, filipinos y latinos son hermanos. 🇵🇭🇻🇪

  26. Hugo Chavez said if he was elected he would be for the people and agisnt the evil greedy companies. His ideas are not to dissimiliar to that of socialists in the US. He said if people werent happy with his rule he would leave and When people started to be unhappy he refused to leave I believe he promised if they weren't happy in either 2, 4 or 6 years, however, he stayed from 1999 to 2013. They were being praised for a while because socialism always works in the beginning. He stayed and people suffered and then maduro was is successor after chavez died office mind you he never left. And people are still suffering today. If you want the simple answer socialism is the unraveling.

  27. My mom's country Guyana had a lot of Venezulan immigrants coming into the country honestly Venezula is not a bad country it just has a bad leader

  28. By the way, that episode when Chávez took to TV in the 90's… That was a failed military coup where many people died. Just saying…

  29. Yet people want to bring socialism though i understand that you need both economic types to keep balance in society but i just dont see how i have to pay for people's welfare and yet see how they abuse the system

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *