The Venezuelan regime created by Hugo Chávez and inherited by current president, Nicolás Maduro, “is coming apart at the seams,” writes Peter DeShazo, a visiting professor of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies, in a Miami Herald opinion piece about the country's upcoming national election.
“Venezuela faces a projected 10 percent downturn in GDP this year, with inflation of over 150 percent, and the value of the currency and international reserves sinking fast. Venezuela’s sovereign credit rating is the lowest in Latin America and large debt payments loom in 2016. Plunging oil prices played a big part in creating this grim picture, but government mismanagement has taken an even greater toll,” he writes. “No country in Latin America received a larger revenue windfall from the commodity boom of the 2000s, yet Venezuela’s per capita GDP growth was the lowest.”
Polls show that a majority of Venezuelans seek change, he writes. “The opposition must embrace this reality if it is to become a coherent force capable of bridging the rifts in society and attracting support from sectors that have hitherto backed the government.”
Read the full opinion piece, published 12/1/15 by the Miami Herald.