Venezuela Erupts into Protests

Over the past few years the Venezuelan people have been protesting and rallying against the current Venezuelan government. The protests began on February 12, 2014, with students demanding increased security and safety at school after the attempted rape of a  female student. Protests against other issues throughout the country, including the highest inflation ever recorded at nearly 190% in 2015 and  projected to be at almost 500% by the end of this year and 1700% by the end of next year, a shortage of basic needs such as food, medicine and sufficient housing, and an increase in crime, have sent Venezuela tumbling into chaos.

Crime in Venezuela has skyrocketed in recent years. It has the second-highest murder rate in the world–at 90 people per 100,000 residents. This trend is, in part, due to a weak police force and the focus on trying to quell the uprisings and protests against President Maduro. Recently, the government has shortened the working week to only two days due to power outages, lack of power sustainability (even though they have the largest oil reserves in the world) and a lack of money.

 

The Venezuelan government has restricted the freedom of the press. There are reports of retaliation against reporters and news agencies that are covering the problems in Venezuela.  Also, many websites have been blocked by the government.

 

Maduro has restricted the return of  Venezuelan citizens who have left the country. He has created this new policy to lower the amount of emigration from Venezuela. The number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from approximately 300,000 in 2005 to over 550,000 in 2010.

Venezuela has experienced many medical shortages in the last few months. Many hospitals have been under-stocked  or shut down. Infant mortality has dramatically increased in hospitals and most people who go to the hospital usually die in there due to lack of medicine and because medicines are so difficult to find that doctors sometimes go to black markets to find  what they need to treat their patients.

If the rest of the world doesn’t stand with the Venezuelan people and help them regain their basic rights, Venezuela will spiral down a deep, dark path; and who knows how long it will take to get back on track.