Venezuela’s Socialist Crisis Continues, Lights Go Out in Caracas
Just when you think things couldn’t get worse in Nicolas Maduro’s socialist Venezuela, it does.
The lights are going out in Caracas, the capital and largest city in Venezuela.
But, the power isn’t the only resource the city’s citizens no longer have access to either.
“This city is unraveling fast: Water doesn’t reach most homes, mass transit is grinding to a halt and businesses are closing in the face of hyperinflation expected to top 13,000% this year. Shotgun-toting troops wearing camouflage and balaclavas run checkpoints. Cash is so scarce people can’t pay for the smallest necessities like bus fare,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
The socialist country has been in a state of chaos ever since Hugo Chavez introduced socialism political system back in 1999. In 2013, Maduro assumed office and the dire situation has only continued to get worse.
There is a massive shortage of staple goods and medicine and the price for these scarce items have skyrocketed, making them no longer affordable. Ironically, the country has some of the richest oil reserves. But it’s sales from its crude oil exports has dropped by 40 percent.
Without the oil industry to keep the country afloat, the citizens have been forced to either starve on the “Maduro diet” or attempt to get out of the country.
But this is easier said than done.
In order to leave the city, citizens have to sell their property for so much less than it’s worth, that is if they can even sell it.
“There are an enormous number of properties [for sale] because everyone wants to leave,” said Aura Corzo, a real-estate agent who fleed to Colombia recently. “They’re desperate to go.”
“In the exclusive Palos Grandes neighborhood, the owners of a 3,900-square-foot apartment once valued at $800,000 have been trying to sell for two years. They recently rejected an offer for $400,000, according to their real-estate agent. Like many other Caraqueños who can afford it, they ended up simply locking their doors and quietly moving abroad. That way they hope to ward off squatters or any effort by the Socialist government to expropriate unoccupied apartments,” writes the WSJ. “The owner of a one-story house with a big lawn was willing to take $250,000 but scoffed at an offer for $100,000, a quarter of what he paid seven years ago. The prospective buyers “are looking to benefit from the desperation of people,” said the owner, who needs the money to move to the U.S.”
Then there’s the issue of physically leaving the country. Most international flights have been canceled and city’s transportation system also isn’t operating.
“The country I grew up in is no more,” said a 66-year-old therapist to the WSJ. “It will take at least two generations to get the country back on its feet. I don’t think I’ll see it in my lifetime.”
Most blame the country’s leader, who is up for reelection this Sunday.
Maduro’s administration has about a 22 percent approval rating, but he remains in power by using fear tactics and by controlling voters with the limited food supply. Not to mention, Maduro has also barred his other opposition candidates from running against him. So Maduro will win this Sunday despite what has happened to Venezuela during his rule.