State of economic emergency
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and a population of "just" 30 million people. For decades it has been the richest country in Latin America. But the collapse of the oil price and the inadequacy of the government presided over by former bus driver Nicolàs Maduro, succeeded in 2013 by Commander Hugo Chavez, father of the Bolivarian revolution, have shed the country in the most serious crisis in its history.
93% of the inhabitants consume less than two meals per day; 82% live below the poverty line; A Venezuelan on two is in absolute misery. Inflation, at 800%, continues to grow and, according to the International Monetary Fund, could reach 2200% by the end of 2017. The Fitch rating agency has included Venezuela among the countries at default risk.
Before to the crisis, oil accounted for 96% of the country's financial income. The fall in barrel prices (down from $ 95.07 in January 2014 to 24.38 in January 2016) has destroyed public accounts, and the government, increasingly militarized, is no longer able to secure the basic products needed in the country. Many industries, without the availability of raw materials, were forced to close, leaving their employees home. Even the colossal Coca-Cola, who worked for 7300 Venezuelans, stopped production due to lack of sugar.
To cope with the crisis, President Maduro declared the "state of economic emergency" and his government, the heir to Chavism but without the charisma of the predecessor, imposed the water and electricity rationing. A small percentage of the population enjoys the privileges of the crisis: corrupt state officials, military generals, and so-called boliburgueses, the new wealthy who have been able to ride a situation. The majority of residents are forced to make long queues in front of the little number of shops and supermarkets still open, to try to buy the little amount of food left in circulation.
To economic crisis to the health emergency adds. If in 1961 Venezuela was the first country to eradicate malaria. Public hospitals now account for less than 5% of the medicines they need to cure those who are already heavily hungry and are hospitalized under bad hygienic conditions. About one in three patients dies in a hospital bed.
The crisis hit mainly the middle class: workers and small craftsmen who, by the economic débacle, were suddenly left without a job and went to crowd the barios in the suburbs of the capital Caracas, Valencia and the main cities of Venezuela.