Nearly 1 million protesters took the to streets on September 1 in Venezuela to demand the removal of President Nicolas Maduro. They clogged the streets to make their demands known amidst what could be the country’s worst economic crisis in modern history.
Venezuela’s economic crisis has spiraled into bigger issues and morphed into a political and humanitarian disaster.
With oil prices collapsing, the country has lost its biggest source of export revenue.
Oil exports have already declined by about 300,000 barrels per day from this time last year as PDVSA fails to keep up with maintenance and electricity blackouts.
After paying all of their other dues, Venezuela only has about 900,000 barrels per day left for exports, according to Russ Dallen of Caracas Capital Markets.
However, according to Luisa Palacios’s statement in an August report published by the Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, “the most severe risks to oil markets … still lie ahead.”
Unfortunately, oil isn’t where the crisis stops.
In fact, earlier in the year the nation actually planned electricity outages in an attempt to decrease their energy costs.
LED bulbs can reportedly cut energy usage by up to 80%, but simply changing bulbs can’t be enough for the struggling country.
In May, the government announced that it would plan power outages for four hours per day to help eliminate extra energy costs.
Citizens weren’t happy about the decision.
“Who’s going to replace our food that goes bad after the light is turned off?” said Ana Gomez, an accountant in Caracas. “Who’s going to guarantee me that it’ll be the four hours the governments says it’ll be?”
The government then blamed their crisis on drought and sabotage by political opponents, but the citizens of Venezuela know better and have since taken steps to let their government know that.
The protesters who marched on September 1 have vowed to continue to make their voices heard.
“We are going to defeat hunger, crime, inflation and corruption. They’ve done nothing in 17 years,” one protester said. “Their time is finished.”
Experts estimate that the lack of political stability will only lead to more issues with oil and other resources within the country.