An overview of Venezuela

Venezuela is a Latin-American country with a warm, tropical weather. It has beaches and mountains, beautiful flora and fauna, and, above all, kind people. However, for the past seventeen years it has been struggling with a non-democratic regime, which has led to high levels of insecurity (according to Forbes Magazine, Caracas is the second most dangerous city in the world), hyperinflation, and scarcity of food and medicaments.

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Venezuela’s high rate of violent deaths has been compared to that of countries that are undergoing civil wars. People are consistently robbed, kidnapped, and killed. According to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, crimes are not being prevented or punished. The levels of impunity are off the charts, so criminals are free to do as they please without being held accountable for their actions.

Food is so scarce that it does not matter how much money a person earns or what their status in society is, there is just not enough. There are thousands of people that spend their entire days in line at supermarkets waiting for food to arrive; it might be milk, it might be rice, it might be nothing. Even if something is delivered, there is no guarantee that everyone will receive it because there are much more people in line than goods to distribute. On top of this, hyperinflation has affected the economy to a point where prices change every week.

The situation with medicine is not different. This morning a friend told me that her pregnant daughter was advised by her doctor to leave the country to deliver her baby, because the hospital does not have the implements to care for newborns. Cancer patients are not getting their treatments, hospitals are only open to emergencies due to energy shortages, and pharmacies are simply not being stocked.

The truth is people here in Venezuela are hungry; people are dying. Insecurity has made people stay off the streets after dark, hyperinflation does not allow for an average income to be sufficient to provide for a family, food is not only expensive but scarce, and medicine is nowhere to be found. Those who do not have the means to leave are only left the option to pray they are lucky enough to survive.

Laura Campiglia

Based in Caracas, Venezuela. Studied International Studies, writes about politics, history, international relations, international conflicts and philosophy.