The Venezuelan crisis has been featured on the news recently, but it goes back to the spike in oil prices of 2000, shortly after Hugo Chavez took office as president. With one of the largest oil reserves on the planet at his disposal, he used the funds to build public services and infrastructure, although, this was allegedly to his own benefit. Hugo Chavez’s plan had one enormous flaw, 90% of the budget came from oil revenue, completely shifting the economic balance. The country was flourishing, mostly by the help of the U.S., which accepted the majority of Venezuelas exports, even after imposing sanctions in 2005 under the Bush administration
Venezuela became the most industrialized country in the Latin-Americas, and had all of the perks that went with it. Eventually, in the early 2010’s, Chavez’s spending plan proved to be unsustainable, and when the prices for oil plummeted, so did their economy. and all of the industrial accomplishments that once drove the country, rapidly became ghosts of a better time.
The new economic hardships, paired with their current housing crisis, meant 3 million people were left unemployed, and without proper homes, which contributed to the rise in crime. Shortly after the election of Nicolas Maduro, the country quickly fell into what was essentially a dictatorship under martial law, and United States relations have all but deteriorated. Recently, Trump has imposed sanctions, freezing all of their U.S. assets, and is considering imposing sanctions on their oil.
Now Venezuela, the country with the third largest oil reserve, is economically crippled, and the U.S. played a large part in that. Jeb Bush has recently announced he will be running for president in the next election, and with his strong connections to the oil industry, through his oil tycoon brother, George W Bush. By next election, the crisis in Venezuela would have just been getting worse, and their president will likely be labeled a terrorist just in time for a third Bush presidency to save the day, in exchange for their oil.
So is the current economic and political situation in Venezuela something that just so happened? Or has the U.S. just been playing the long-con this whole time? We’ll just have to wait and see.