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Inside Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis: The US government enters the Venezuelan economy after celebrating their recognition of Juan Guaidó as the acting president.

      Over the past few years, Venezuela has been facing serious economic issues, leading another country leader to declare himself president.

      Nicolás Maduro, the current President of Venezuela, was elected after the passing of former president, Hugo Chávez, who mentored Maduro back in 2013. In his first six-year term as president, he acquired the trust of the country’s military. After this, there was the continuing of major economic crises. These crises created ever-increasing inflation rates. This lead to the people of Venezuela to not being able to afford basic necessities.

      All of these factors, in conjunction with many citizens fleeing to neighboring countries, created serious internal distress for Venezuela. However, in 2018, when President Maduro ran for another six-year-term in office. Due to the country’s decline, it was a shock to see him successfully obtain his reelection. Maduro won by using his military allies to scare citizens in voting for him as well as rigging the voting in general.

      Because of this unethical path to presidency, Juan Guaidó, the current President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself the President of Venezuela. Many citizens that oppose Maduro latched onto Guaidó in hopes that he would take leadership away from a tyrant. However, Maduro refused to leave his seat.

      Maduro insisted that Guaidó is puppet for the United States. This accusation, although used as a tactic to manipulate his people, is not all a lie. Guaidó is supported by the United States and more specifically President Donald Trump has spoken about his support for Guaidó.

      Trump has declared his disdain toward Maduro and has insisted that the United States intervene. With that notion, Trump ordered sanctions to be put on the oil from Venezuela. The oil industry in Venezuela is what funds most of Maduro’s government. The sanctions were put in place in hopes that it would gradually push Maduro out of office. However, the United States may not be thinking about all of the implications that can arise from the sanctions. Although they were put in place to hurt an unjust government, it is mostly impacting the workers of the oil industry who are mostly working-class citizens of Venezuela.

      “I’m not sure the U.S. has a Plan B if this doesn’t work in getting rid of Maduro… I’m afraid that if these sanctions are implemented in their current form, we’re looking at starvation,” Francisco Rodríguez, a Venezuelan economist at Torino Capital, a brokerage firm, said in an interview with The New York Times.

      However, the oil sanctions have not hurt Maduro as much as Trump and Guaidó thought it would. In turn, Maduro has been receiving funding support from Russia, Cuba and China.

      All the while, there is still a humanitarian crisis happening in the country in-between a bunch of politicians fighting over money. In the past three years, almost three million people have left Venezuela. Many of them fled to connecting and nearby countries of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, etc., but some have even left the continent.

      For those who have decided to stay in the country or cannot leave because of funds, ability, residence, etc., are forced to live in situation that was not created for the average person to win.

      Because of those who are left in the Venezuela, many conjoining countries reached out to help. However, much of the humanitarian aid is centered and stuck in Brazil and Colombia. Efforts to help those in need is caught in a sort of stand-off between tyrant leader Maduro and self-declared president Guaidó.

      However, on Feb. 23, humanitarian efforts reached a climax in a physical altercation at the Venezuelan border with the Guaidó sympathising military and citizens seeking basic needs that they have not had access to throughout the protests and economic crises.

      When aid trucks attempted to enter the borders to Venezuela that Guaidó had ordered blocked, the military opened fire. In this altercation, two lives were lost, one being a 14-year-old.

      No matter what happens in this country, one step needs to be first: the politicians ‘trying’ to ‘help’ need to do a better job at protecting those who are most at risk. There are citizens suffering everyday and need help now. Action needs to happen soon.

      Sources: BBC, New York Times

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