Uproar in Venezuela

Opposition supporters attend a rally against Nicolás Maduro. Photograph: Christian Veron/Reuters.

Source: The Guardian, April 25

Picked by Hugo Chávez as successor just before his death in 2013, President Nicolás Maduro has been an incompetent leader in hard times. He has failed to address the economic crisis triggered when the fall in the price of oil exposed the weaknesses of Chavismo, his predecessor’s ambitious experiment in poverty alleviation and social ownership.

Now, in what was once South America’s richest country, more than four households in five are in poverty, twice the level of when he came to power. Babies and children die for lack of access to commonplace medicines. Murder and kidnapping for ransom are rife. Inflation is running above 800%; the economy is contracting sharply. Democracy itself is being eroded as the president defends his faltering grip on power. Weeks of protests have been met by state violence, semi-official vigilantes and, increasingly, counterattack from some opposition groupings. There is a wretched stalemate; and there is a real fear that violence could soon escalate out of control.


One response to “Uproar in Venezuela

  1. Michael Gundy

    Out of the 178 countries graded by Failed States Index in 2016, Venezuela ranks 63 and Canada 169. What is particularly worrying is that this decline has continued aggressively for the last half a dozen years. # 1 is Somalia.

    12 factors are used by Fund For Peace to ascertain the status of a country.
    – Mounting demographic pressures.
    – Massive displacement of refugees, creating severe humanitarian
    – Widespread vengeance-seeking group grievance.
    – Chronic and sustained human flight.
    – Uneven economic development along group lines.
    – Severe economic decline.
    – Criminalization and/or delegitimization of the state.
    – Deterioration of public services.
    – Suspension or arbitrary application of law; widespread human rights
    – Security apparatus operating as a “state within a state”.
    – Rise of factionalized elites.
    – Intervention of external political agents.