The Crisis in Venezuela

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“It is worse than it sounds and it sounds extremely bad”, - one reporter said about the situation in Venezuela. Turmoil has brought an oil rich country to its knees, starting hyperinflation, when the economy is monetary inflation occurring at a very high rate, according to Oxford. Projected to hit 10 million percent by 2020, Venezuela is deep into a crisis. Hyperinflation has caused 90 percent of the Venezuelan population to be classed in poverty. Columbia (a neighboring country) is accepting the thousands of Venezuelans crossing the border each day. Venezuelan refugees are fleeing because of hyperinflation has become so bad that someone said he was president causing a disaster in the process.

About the Nation

Venezuela is a very large country, bigger than both Germany and France in size. Venezuela is at the northern tip of South America, and has a coastline with the Caribbean Sea. It also has land border with Columbia, Brazil, and Guyana. Venezuela has mountains to the Northwest and the East, and then in the middle it is grasslands/plains. Their wet season lasts from May to October during Summer, and then their dry season from December to March during the winter. Venezuela’s capital is on the coast nestled between the two mountain ranges. The president Nicolas Maduro Moros was elected in 2013. In the election anyone above 21 was able to vote, including women. In Venezuela’s 1999 reestablished constitution it is stated. Also in the same constitution, it says that Venezuela is a republican, democratic, and federalist principle, state. Venezuela's population is a massive 31,689,176 as of 2018. Of which 1,943,901 of their population lives in Caracas, their capital. Most of Venezuela’s population is mezito, the next large percentage of their population is local white at 20 percent.

In Venezuela, education is free from ages 6-15 and two years of secondary education is, too. With it being free, only half of the adults do not have secondary education. Venezuela is predominantly Roman Catholic. Roman Catholic is non-political religion, but priests and bishops have intervened in political events. Venezuela's transportation system is very developed, especially around the dense areas of the Northern and Northwestern areas. Venezuela uses roads for domestic travel, and waterways for freight travel. Venezuela is an important air travel country connecting South America and North America. Venezuela’s economy is based around the production and exportation of petroleum. Between the late 1940s and the 1970s, Venezuela was the largest petroleum producer and exporter in the world. Venezuela recently openly invited non-Hispanic immigrants, to live and enjoy Venezuela. With the land and population of Venezuela, then how are they in a crisis, causing millions to flee.

Conflicts and Challenges

The crisis, displacing millions from Venezuela, started not when Guaidó declared himself president in Venezuela. It started after Maduro got elected, in 2013, and made multiple bad decisions for Venezuela, bringing them into a crisis. Maduro was elected after his role model Hugo Chávez died in 2013. He then again in May 2018, was elected for a second term in office. Maduro was sworn into office in January 2019, then after 2 weeks the national assembly said that the election was illegitimate. After that announcement, Guaidó said that he was interim president in Venezuela in late January, 2019. That standoff has led to countries picking sides, for who is president. For example, Guaidó has begun to target oil shipments to Cuba. And Maduro has relied on military assistance from Cuba. Russia, has also helped Maduro by sending troops to Venezuela. After that in March 2019 Mr. Guaidó’s chief of staff was arrested, making the crisis more confusing, and more deadly. Later that day Mr. Guaidó gave a speech and said, “We’re not afraid. The only possible escalation here that I can be certain of is to increase street pressure”. When Mr. Guaidó spoke about what crisis Mr. Maduro stated now that he was now acting president, in January 2019.

Another reason Mr. Guaidó said he was Venezuela’s president was because Mr. Maduro brought Venezuela down on its knees. When that happened Mr. Maduro and Mr. Guaidó started political turmoil in Venezuela. That political turmoil started hyperinflation in Venezuela starting economic turmoil, also making the economic situation worse. The hyperinflation has gone too far, making basic needs extremely expensive. The inflation is incredibly bad that it is worse than the Great Depression and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Not all countries recognize one president, countries are picking sides. Fifty countries recognize Mr. Guaidó as acting president in Venezuela.

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Refugee Experience

Walking to the western border, Venezuelans are leaving their home. One family even going far to say that they will never return home when Nicolas Maduro is in power, even if economic situations strengthen in Venezuela. The Venezuelans struggling to feed themselves and their loved ones. Their first stop is usually Columbia, going because they are doing their best to help. “It took us over seven days to reach Peru. We had nothing to eat at the end. We tried to spare all for our son, but he also went over 24 hours without a bite. He is only three”, - Gerardo, Venezuelan father in Peru.

Columbia is helping, not strengthening their borders like other countries in South America. For example, most South American countries requiring a pass-port or visa to enter. They are doing the opposite, opening their borders to the Venezuelan refugees. Columbia is building refugee camps all over Columbia, they have basic needs like shelter, water, food and medicine. In the refugee camps they also have Columbians helping. Basic needs that are much too expensive in Venezuela. For example, a month’s worth of Salary there could get you a hot dog in Venezuela. That is because of the economic troubles Maduro has made for Venezuelans. At the refugee camps they do not only have basic needs, they also have, orthodontists, and special help for those who need it.

Not only are Venezuelans getting what they need, but they are also dancing and singing with Columbians. Playing music from both countries, but everyone is dancing in their home or their new home. It is a return to a favor that Venezuela did in the 80s and 90s, when Columbia was fighting off the rebel group the Fark. Most Venezuelans are in dire need of help because of hyperinflation, but some Venezuelans are coming to do bad in Columbia. For example, a police chief in a border town said that no Colombians should rent their homes to Venezuelans. After a Venezuelan was arrested for a murder. Everyone in Columbia was eager to help but now after the Venezuelan arrests, people have lost trust in the Venezuelans. Some of the people in Columbia may be scared, but The Columbian government is not afraid still, keeping its borders still easy to cross for the thousands of Venezuelans crossing the border each day. Over all, Columbia has helped over 1 million refugees from Venezuela. Giving them status in Columbia to live, work and study in Columbia, for two years.

Moving Forward

The UNHCR has donated over 158 million U.S. dollars to the Venezuelan crisis. The money that the UNHCR has donated will go to many causes for the Venezuelan crisis. For example, the UNHCR has constructed over 13 temporary shelters in the surrounding countries. The UNHCR has donated 5,000 hygiene kits to the Venezuelan people helping them stay clean on their journey to safer countries and a better life. UNHCR have also helped 2,500 with their special needs and getting them what they need. Another 1,160 people will get extra food after their long and substantial journey, from Venezuela. The UNHCR will coordinate 381 activities in the countries that are hosting Venezuelans.

50 SGBV or sexual gender-based violence, will be reported and give survivors the help they need and/or Physiological help. Sexual Gender based Violence is when someone sexual offends, by race, gender, beliefs, etc. Also, twenty-five water systems will be built in hosting countries to help the Venezuelan refugees on their journey. The UNHCR is not only helping the Venezuelan refugees, they are also helping the host countries. The UNHCR is helping, Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, Curacao, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. During the Venezuelan crisis Peru has seen 5 times more asylum requests, from Venezuelans crossing the border to safety.

Conclusion

An economic crisis causing 4 million refugees to flee, and also starting political turmoil. Maduro was elected in 2018 for a second term, in Venezuela. The Nation Assembly called the election illegitimate. 2 weeks after Maduro was sworn in. An opposing party leader, Guaidó announced that he was president in Venezuela. He was never elected but countries including the U.S still recognize him as standing president in Venezuela. A crisis that is moving generations across borders to a better life.

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The Crisis in Venezuela. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-crisis-in-venezuela/
“The Crisis in Venezuela.” Edubirdie, 28 Oct. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-crisis-in-venezuela/
The Crisis in Venezuela. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-crisis-in-venezuela/> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
The Crisis in Venezuela [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Oct 28 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-crisis-in-venezuela/
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