Issues

Human Rights

Under the Chavez and Maduro governments, Venezuela has suffered from wholesale repression and human rights abuses. In particular, the regime has brutally suppressed dissent and opposition to its authoritarian rule.

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Food and Medical Emergency

Venezuela’s economic situation has become so desperate that the Maduro regime is unable to adequately supply food and medicine to the country’s citizens. Currency controls and a reliance on imports have severely restricted even the most basic goods reaching Venezuelan stores. Meanwhile, hyperinflation, which is predicted to reach as high as 720 per cent this year, leaves Venezuelans with little purchasing power.

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Crime Epidemic

One of the effects of Venezuela’s economic chaos is the increasing breakdown of law and order. The scarcity of basic products has led to a thriving black market. Meanwhile, lack of resources means that police and law enforcement forces find themselves virtually powerless to prevent serious crimes, especially homicide. In fact, the country’s police are too often themselves complicit in these crimes, fueling a highly dangerous lack of public security.

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Absence of Democracy

Although there are outward signs of democracy in Venezuela – elections, parliament, courts – these are largely impotent institutions. Hugo Chavez dismantled Venezuelan democracy during his 14 years in power, reducing the powers of parliament, the judiciary and the media or packing them with regime loyalists. The situation has continued under Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro. As a result, power in Venezuela has been concentrated overwhelmingly in the presidency and Maduro’s Socialist Party machinery.

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