Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How Venezuela collapsed from wealthy democracy into chaos and authoritarianism

Venezuela, by the numbers, resembles a country hit by civil war.

Its economy, once Latin America’s richest, is estimated to have shrunk by 10 percent in 2016, more than Syria’s. Its inflation that year has been estimated as high as 720 percent, nearly double that of second-ranked South Sudan, rendering its currency nearly worthless.

In a country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves, food has grown so scarce that three in four citizens reported involuntary weight loss, averaging 19 pounds in a year.

City streets are marked by black markets and violence. The last reported murder rate, in 2014, was equivalent to the civilian casualty rate in 2004 Iraq .... https://www.nytimes.com