Venezuela

South America's uprisings are about more than politics

Taking cover from a water cannon in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

Venezuela, Brazil, and more recently Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile have been in the news because of violent protests and uprisings.

The big picture: One thing's for sure — it's not because of any one political system. Venezuela has had a quasi-communist regime for almost 20 years, Chile has had a totally different pro-market approach, while Bolivia and Ecuador have had their own peculiar mixes of socialism and capitalism. But each society has gone through similar social crises in recent months.

Expert Voices

Global response to Venezuelan refugee crisis falling short

Venezuelan migrants lined up with their bags
Venezuelan migrants waiting to apply for refugee status at a Peruvian border post. Photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuela's neighbors are struggling to incorporate the stream of refugees who have poured across their borders, yet the international response has paled in comparison to other recent humanitarian crises.

The big picture: An estimated 4.6 million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015. Their arrival has severely strained social services, housing and labor markets in host countries and in some cases has provoked xenophobic backlash.