What’s going on in Venezuela?
Because of high inflation and unemployment, Venezuela has the most miserable economy in the world. The country currently has an inflation rate of 180 percent, but that’s expected to increase 1,642 percent by next year. The current unemployment rate is 17 percent, and the IMF projects it will reach nearly 21 percent next year.
The country is also crippled by shortages of goods and services. A few weeks ago Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro instituted a two-day workweek for state employees because of power shortages. (Because most of the country’s energy is produced by a hydroelectric plant, critically low water levels are blamed for the energy crisis.)
President Maduro has declared a state of emergency, threatening to seize factories and jail business owners who have stopped production.
Shortages of basic goods like food, toilet paper, and medicine has devastated a nation where more than 70 percent of the people already live in poverty.
What caused the crisis?