May 26, 2018

Venezuela losing hope as Maduro is re-elected

Venezuelan President Maduro.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela is facing a bleak future after the sham re-election of President Nicolás Maduro last weekend; the Wall Street Journal's Anatoly Kurmanaev writes that what's left "is exile or further misery."

The big picture: The overwhelming economic crisis in Venezuela has spurred a global migrant crisis — around 5,000 Venezuelans are fleeing each day — and Kurmanaev says Maduro's election "snuffed out the last glimmer of hope that their lives can improve."

The state of play: Hyperinflation is on track to reach 14,000% this year while the economy will have diminished by 35% in five years, at the end of 2018, per WSJ.

  • The poverty rate "rose from 48% to 87%" from 2014-2017 as 10% of Venezuelans — around 3 million — have fled the crime-stricken country.
  • However, many of the ruling elite are "barred...from trips to the U.S. and much of Europe."

Weak cash flow: Per Kurmanaev: "Cash is extremely scarce, card payment networks are overloaded, cell phone coverage is worse than in Syria, and online banking systems constantly crash because of underinvestment. Paying for a cup of coffee can take an hour."

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