What YOU should know about the situation in Venezuela

1. Venezuela a country with two presidents: Maduro and Guaidó 

On January 23, 2019, Juan Guaidó summoned the Venezuelan people to go to the streets and protest the regimen of Nicolás Maduro. In the streets, as people begged for a change, Guaidó declared himself interim president. He hoped that by declaring himself president and pushing the military forces of Venezuela to side with him, he would be able to oust Maduro and finally bring a change to the country. 

When he first declared himself interim president, people all over the country supported him. He spoke to the people and defended his actions. According to the current Venezuelan constitution if by the beginning of the current presidential period, which in this case was January 10, there was no president declared, the president of the National Assembly would be president until new elections were held. Although Maduro held elections in May of 2018, the elections seemed to be rigged and large portions of the international community failed to acknowledge Maduro’s triumph. Because of that Guaidó was able to become Venezuela’s interim president. 

The international community is largely separated as to which recognize Maduro as president and which recognize Guaidó as president. Guaidó has the support of countries such as the United States, Colombia, Panama, Australia, Argentina and the majority of the European Union. Countries that recognize Maduro as president are China, Russia, Iran, Bolivia, Nicaragua among others. 

 

 

2. The migration crisis: border with Colombia and Brazil. 

As of December of 2019, the inflation in Venezuela was at around 1,299,000%, being the highest inflation in the whole world. Current bills have little to no value and people are unable to find food, medicine and services for a value they can pay. Because of this, thousands of people have fled to nearby countries such as Colombia and Brazil. Countries like Ecuador and Panama have also received a growing amount of Venezuelans in the past months. In the border city of Cucuta, Colombia, more than one million Venezuelans have entered Colombia, looking for a job and a way to make money and send food and medicine to their families. People live in extreme conditions and although the Colombian government has given “special permission to stay” to Venezuelan immigrants, their situation becomes harder and harder as they try to make it to different parts of the country. 

Vox Borders has a great video on the crisis in the border that I encourage you to watch. It dives right into how people are living and how they are struggling to make it in a new country after leaving everything behind.

 

 

3. Venezuela 5 days without power. 

The most recent issue Venezuelans have had to deal with was an enormous power outage. A power outage of this size has caused issues for everyone, making it very hard to survive in hospitals, go to your job and even stay at home. Not only did Venezuelans loose power, but they also lost drinkable water. It is unclear still the number of deaths this outage has caused, but it is assumed that by March 10, between 17 to 21 people had died in hospitals. Many of these deaths were of newborn babies that were already struggling to survive. Food is already scarce in Venezuela and not having power for refrigerators have made it worse. Candles burned through, matches ran out and thousands of people were hoping soon the crisis would end. Today parts of Venezuela are still recovering from the outage and the crisis seems to be getting worse. 

 

This short video shows the life of one woman during the power outage:

It is uncertain what is going to happen with Venezuela. People are getting desperate and want a change. Maduro seems to be unwilling to change and Guaidó isn’t giving up. Hopefully, this article gave you a better explanation of the current situation but I encourage you to keep reading the news. Venezuela’s situation will hopefully change soon and today it is incredibly important for the international community to show support. Read and stay informed and let us keep hoping for change.