There Is No More Time in Venezuela


Credits: “The Photographer” via Wikimedia Commons / Creativecommons

Venezuela is undergoing a humanitarian crisis of appalling dimensions. Analysts have long deemed the situation in the country unsustainable. With food shortages, constant riots, a growing black market, an exploding inflation rate, and a perishing health system, Venezuela seems to be deadlocked. The government has failed to find a solution to the crisis. Jason Marczak, Director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative, has described the situation as going from “bad to worse to horrific.” International cooperation seems to be the only suitable response to the crisis.

Venezuela is suffering from a dangerous economic crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela is home to the world’s highest negative growth rate. The inflation has skyrocketed and is predicted to reach an alarming rate of 1,642% next year. The unemployment rate is also forecasted to reach 21% in 2017. Supermarkets are empty, and a state of emergency has been proclaimed by the government. The Associated Press claims that citizens in Caracas spend an average total of 35 hours in line every month to buy food. Nine in ten of these residents claim that they are not able to purchase enough to feed themselves and their families. More than 30% of Venezuelans have income levels below the national poverty line.

The dire economic condition of the country has also contributed to an acute public health crisis as the health care system has crumbled. Hospitals are not operational, labs lack materials to work, and routinely stocked medicines are unavailable. Medications to treat pain, asthma, and heart diseases are in constant shortage. In response to the growing infant mortality rate, Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in Caracas, has said that “the death of a baby is our daily bread.” The Human Rights Watch has compared the healthcare situation in Venezuela to that of a war zone. Citizens have been denied their basic rights to medicine.

In response to the crisis, the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has adopted a “wait-and-see strategy.” Analysts claim that he seems to watch the crisis with no apparent remorse. “I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” explains Maduro. The current corruption charges directed at Maduro may further evolve into human rights abuse charges. Mercosur has stated that Venezuela’s membership in the trade bloc is threatened because of human rights violations. A possible removal would further introduce considerable consequences to Venezuelan trade partners, such as Brazil and Colombia. Maintaining the status quo in the nation would allow consequences to spread to neighboring countries.

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela shows no signs of improvement. The nation faces a dire socio-economic situation. With an economy in recession and a collapsed health care system, the Venezuelan government is incapable of promoting even the basic well-being of its own citizens. Hunger and premature deaths are met by apathy from the government. Venezuela’s electoral authority has also ruled out a recall referendum that called for new presidential elections. A new alternative must be analyzed and considered. More than ever, the Venezuelan people need the help of the world in order to lift themselves from a crisis of epic proportions.

Experts have hypothesized that third-party foreign assistance seems to be the only way out. Support must not be associated with the Venezuelan government, as president Maduro may find ways to politicize the assistance. Medical support from the World Health Organization seems to be a suitable solution to the problem given the agency’s experience in supporting struggling countries. Still, afraid of strengthening the opposition-led congress that supports foreign aid, the Venezuelan president continues to turn down aid attempts. Nicolas Maduro seems to overlook Venezuela’s current state. It is time for the Venezuelan president to forget his political affiliations and focus on the betterment of the Venezuelan people.

It is time for the international community to unite and aid people whose rights to life, liberty, and security are currently denied in Venezuela.

— “Fernando

The world must join hands to help those directly suffering from the problem. It is time for the international community to unite and aid people whose rights to life, liberty, and security are currently denied in Venezuela. If not, the status quo in the country will continue to worsen, and the Venezuelan people will have their dignity rejected by a government that watches with no repentance. Time ticks quickly in Venezuela. There is no more time to watch and hope.

Sources: CNN, CNBC, The Human Rights Watch, The New York Times