Venezuela lost 80 percent of its GDP between 2014 and 2020. At one point in 2019, monthly inflation reached almost 200 percent. The Venezuelan crisis was one marked by corruption, hyperinflation, one of the world’s highest homicide rates, food and medicine shortages — as well as the largest exodus in the recent history of Latin America, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
A couple of years ago, the International Monetary Fund said it would take a major course of economic shock therapy for Venezuela to scramble its way out of the hole it had dug for itself.
And apparently, that’s what President Nicolás Maduro is now trying to do.
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- Ignacio Portes is The Brazilian Report’s Buenos Aires correspondent. He writes the Latin America Weekly newsletter and covers affairs around the continent. He previously worked for the Buenos Aires Herald and The Bubble, and has written for outlets such as Al Jazeera and The Financial Times.
This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: S8WGQSNKXISCJO9V.
- Analysts see a pragmatic turn in Chavismo, writes Ignacio Portes. This change is helping improve the trade and inflation situation — though dramatic problems remain after a decade of economic chaos.
- The economic debacle in Venezuela caused the country’s currency, the Bolívar, to tumble in value, leading citizens to rely on crypto. But security experts warn that there may be more to Venezuela’s thriving crypto scene than meets the eye.
- The crisis sparked the biggest exodus in recent Latin American history, with nearly 6 million Venezuelans fleeing the country. Some Venezuelan women were pushed into sex work in other countries.
- A year ago, Colombia announced it would issue work visas and residency permits to 1.7 million undocumented Venezuelans, reigniting the political debate around immigration. Other countries have taken different approaches.
- Chavismo relied on the legend of Simon Bolívar. Lucas Berti wrote about the legacy of “The Liberator” and modern-day Bolivarianism.
- With Venezuela becoming a Western pariah, Brazil and Argentina engaged in controversial military exercises that raised tensions between them and their northern neighbors.
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