Up north in the United States, there are more than 10.4 million residential swimming pools along with 309,000 public swimming pools. However, these are luxuries the Venezuelan people cannot afford as the country spirals down the path of an economic crisis.
This country’s turbulent economy forces families to wait up to 18 hours in line to buy small amounts of rice, oil, bread and pasta. There is almost no clean water, limited medicine is available, and starvation is at an all time high.
Living situations have become so dire that Venezuelan children are choosing to get involved. A little girl went viral earlier this month in her video asking President Nicolas Maduro for basic necessities, including shampoo.
As reported on Latin Times, in her video the unnamed little girl expresses that she has had enough. She exclaims, “I’m tired of the situation. I don’t have water. I don’t have food. I don’t have medicine.” She then took her hat off and said, “And lastly, I don’t have shampoo!”
Crime rates have also risen, with the country’s capital Caracas overtaking Honduras’s San Pedro Sula as the most violent city in the world.
Oil prices worldwide are also to blame for Venezuela’s current state. This natural resource has been a critical component to the country’s economy since the mid-1970s when it was discovered. Today, oil accounts for 95% of the country’s export earnings.
But oil prices have fallen within the past few years. Venezuela’s complete dependence on the export has exacerbated preexisting economic conditions like national debt, rampant inflation, and currency devaluation.
Critics say that an economic crisis of this magnitude should have been prevented by President Maduro as his socialist regime has led the country into a state of despair because of poor economic decisions.
People decide on the trustworthiness of a person in a tenth of a second. And according to the people of Venezuela and it’s surrounding nations, President Maduro is not to be trusted.
In fact, Venezuelan opposition leaders are trying to oust the political leader. They have collected a substantial amount of names on a petition to remove the president through a recall referendum.
Hundreds of thousands of unhappy Venezuelans have given their fingerprints after waiting hours in line at their local polling stations. Now, electoral officials must validate the petition.
If it is passed, an additional four million people must sign a second petition before the government can hold a referendum.
On top of widespread disapproval from his own citizens, Maduro is facing criticism from his Latin American neighbors.
Additionally, the chief of the Organization of American States has blamed Maduro as being solely responsible for Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.
In his address to the permanent council of OAS’s 34 nations, Luis Almagro claimed Maduro’s government has violated basic democratic principles that have led to the country’s demise.
Almagro believes the crisis has come to a breaking point. The Guardian reports his speech to the council, where he said, “These challenges cannot be blamed on external forces. The situation facing Venezuela today is the direct result of the actions of those currently in power.”
After his address, Almagro won the backing of the majority of member states to invoke the organization’s democratic charter on Venezuela. This could lead to eventual suspension from the group.
So where does this leave Venezuela? In denial, it seems. After Almagro’s address, Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez denied vehemently that there was a crisis of any kind going on in her country.
Instead she believes that those in opposition to the government — including Almagro and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry — are orchestrating an international coup to overthrow Maduro on an international scale.
Rodriguez even ended her arguments by telling Almagro, “If you were a McDonald’s employee, listen to me, you would never be voted employee of the month.”