The South American country of Venezuela has been in the news for a few weeks now, but between their tanking economy due to socialist policies and the battle over who is truly the president, it can be hard to follow. At FFL, we want to help you stay informed and aware of breaking news but not overwhelm you with tiny specifics. The situation in Venezuela is still in flux, so you’ll want to occasionally tune in to breaking news coverage of the situation. Here are the main things to know about what’s going on.

The economy is crap

I won’t go into a diatribe on why socialism is bad, I’ll just let the Venezuelan economy speak for itself. The inflation rate is nearly a million percent. Yes, you read that right. A million percent inflation. It’s economy is the worst in the Americas. A basic fast-food meal would run you $35,000. No, that doesn’t include being super-sized. There are numerous food shortages.

“Vast numbers of Venezuelans are starving, deprived of essential medicines, and trying to survive in a situation that is spiraling downwards with no end in sight,” a United Nations report found in February 2018.

The U.S. and other countries recognize a new president

Venezuela’s most recent election wasn’t really considered fair, you could say, and so it made sense that freedom-loving and democratic countries like the U.S. would announce their support for the non-dictatoresque opposition party.

“I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido,” Trump said in an announcement.Other countries and groups, like the France, Germany, and the European Parliament, have followed suit.

Maduro, who refuses to give up power, also refuses to call another election. Maduro also announced that he would be closing the U.S. Embassy in the country and has insinuated that Trump wants him assassinated. This is a constantly evolving situation that will continue to play out over the next weeks and months.

Sanctions, sanctions, sanctions

One of the best ways the U.S. can show their strength is through sanctions. In fact, the Trump administration has not been shy about leveling new sanctions against Venezuela. The U.S. has specifically targeted oil, a major export of Venezuela. These sanctions came in coordination with the support for Juan Guaido and the calls for Maduro to step down as president of the country and in theory would be lifted if Maduro left office. This may be a very effective move since Venezuela formerly sent 41% of their crude oil exports to the U.S., a major revenue stream that has now been cut off.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member