Venezuela is a total economic and humanitarian disaster. Inflation is rampant. The inflation rate has already exceeded two million percent. All supplies (including toilet paper) are in short supply. Medicine is unavailable in most of the country. Food shortages along with the crumbling economy have forced people to change their eating habits. All are losing weight and battling malnutrition in what has become known as the “Maduro diet.”
President Nicolás Maduro is the one of the reasons for the economic devastation, along with the previous policies of Hugo Chávez. If you needed an object lesson on why socialism is bad for a country and its people, you need to look no further than Venezuela.
The economic resources are there. The husband of one of my colleagues used to travel to Venezuela with the major oil companies, which brought prosperity to many in the country. But the Chávez government started taking a majority stake in various oil projects. Oil companies from the US and Europe left the country. Oil prices dropped, and today we have a crisis so bad that people are eating out of garbage cans and catching and eating zoo animals, dogs, cats, and birds.
Trying to get humanitarian aid to the people is difficult. Maduro has blocked aid from crossing the border arguing that it could be a potential “Trojan horse” that would lead to military intervention.
Earlier this year, the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaido, declared himself the acting president, and has been backed by the Trump Administration. Vice President Mike Pence declared to the people of Venezuela, “We are with you, we stand with you and will stay with you until democracy is restored.” He also called for leaders in other countries to join the US. He said, “There can be no bystanders in Venezuela’s struggle for freedom.”
We need to pray for our leaders and pray for the people in Venezuela who are suffering through this crisis.