An article written by Danielle Renwick and Brianna Lee called “Venezuela in Crisis” explains the terrible leadership and environment Venezuelans are forced to live with today and exactly how the country came to this state of crisis. Under Chavez’s rule the economy recovered from a poverty level of 50% to 30% with his large exports on oil and introducing many socialist programs to the country. He took control of the Supreme Court by appointing twelve new justices, removed the Chamber of Congress, reduced civilian control over the military, and ended presidential term limits with a successful referendum. After his death in 2013 Maduro was narrowly elected president and continued Chavez’s socialist revolution.
95% of the country’s export earnings came from oil and Venezuela became increasingly dependent on imports. The oil prices fell from $111 per barrel in 2014 to $27 per barrel in 2016 and the country began to fall apart. Imports drastically declined because Venezuela could no longer afford them. The socialist programs which were in place could no longer run efficiently. Hospitals are now lacking basic supplies, the infant mortality rate has nearly doubled since 2011, and 87% of the population does not have enough money to buy the food they need. 30% of children were reportedly malnourished. Many diseases, such as Malaria, have reemerged after being eradicated from the country for a long time.
Homicides have increased to 91.8 per 100,000 people compared to a rate of 5 per 100,000 people in the United States. An estimated 150,000 people reportedly fled Venezuela in 2016 alone and rebellions have erupted all over the country to remove Maduro from power. The country is in turmoil. Many countries have publicly criticized Maduro's leadership and they have lost many allies during his rule. The situation in Venezuela is getting worse every day. It is sad to see people living in such conditions and I hope Venezuela will be able to recover from this crisis some day.
If you want to know more about the situation in Venezuela and how it got to the point it is at now, here is a link to the article I read: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/venezuela-crisis
This goes in to much more detail than I was able to provide. If you have additional information you would like to provide, please share! Thank you!