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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."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.