Tags: venezuela | catastrophe | chávez | poverty | inflation

The Guardian: Inside Venezuela's 'Slow-Motion Catastrophe'

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By    |   Thursday, 06 December 2018 01:29 PM

Five years after the death of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela has collapsed into poverty and what one author describes as “a slow-motion catastrophe,” The Guardian reports.

The Guardian sent correspondents on a trip through Venezuela traveling from the site where Chávez first spoke as president-elect to his birthplace in the southwest, and found that the late “left-wing populist” remains popular despite the country’s poor situation.

Venezuela’s economy shrank by 15.7 percent last year, and inflation reached 860 percent. Nine out of 10 Venezuelans live in poverty and economists from the International Monetary Fund predict that the inflation rate will surpass 1.37 million percent in 2018.

“The feeling I have is one of a slow-motion catastrophe,” said Caracas author Ana Teresa Torres. “It’s as if you are watching a building collapse and there is nothing you can do to stop it.”

“People do not understand what is happening in Venezuela because it is too hard to believe,” said Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi from Barquisimeto, speaking of the collapse of the country’s once-enviable health care system. “The most oil-rich country absolutely devastated and turned into a war-torn nation – without a war.

“I’m not angry. I’m terribly sad. Because there was absolutely no need to get to this point. They just left the country to die. . . and it is heartbreaking.”

One man, a gas station attendant named Eduardo Martínez, said that he and his colleagues had not been paid by Venezuela’s state-run oil company in months, and have to survive entirely on tips.

“And this is still a good job,” he said.

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Five years after the death of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela has collapsed into poverty and what one author describes as "a slow-motion catastrophe."
venezuela, catastrophe, chávez, poverty, inflation
261
2018-29-06
Thursday, 06 December 2018 01:29 PM
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