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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won a sham election last year after deposing or intimidating his legitimate challengers. He begins his second six-year term Thursday, much to the chagrin of 85% of Venezuelans, international humanitarian aid organizations and most of the world's leaders.

Why it matters: While many nebulously blame "socialism" for Venezuela's dire condition, the truth is that the country's problems are a result of corruption and wide-ranging economic incompetence from Maduro's government. And humanitarian crisis aside, Venezuela owes international creditors an estimated $150 billion.

Here's a short list of problems Maduro will face in his second term, most of his own creation:

  • Annual inflation is estimated to be 1,400,000% and forecast to rise to 10,000,000% by year-end.
  • The country's 90% poverty rate.
  • Citizens lost an average of 24 pounds last year because the government can't import food or medicine.
  • Four of the world's 10 most dangerous cities are in Venezuela.
  • The homicide rate has risen to 90 per 100,000 (for reference, the United States has a homicide rate of 5 per 100,000) and 73 Venezuelans die violently every day.
  • 3 million people, nearly 10% of the population, have left the country, with the outflow of citizens increasing annually.
  • The democratically elected and opposition-led National Assembly is seeking to unseat Maduro after he effectively replaced them with a "Constituent Assembly" made up of family members and loyalists.
  • His presidency is being called illegitimate by 14 Latin American countries as party to the Lima Group — including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Peru.
  • Oil production has fallen to its lowest in nearly 70 years, with more of what's produced going to China, Russia and Cuba
  • Possible further sanctions and an oil embargo from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has already targeted various companies and members of Maduro's government, including his wife and vice president.

Go deeper: It's nearly impossible to afford a cup of coffee in Venezuela

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Health

Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo illustration by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna announced that it plans to file with the FDA Monday for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, which the company said has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

Why it matters: Moderna will become the second company to file for a vaccine EUA after Pfizer did the same earlier this month, potentially paving the way for the U.S. to have two COVID-19 vaccines in distribution by the end of the year. The company said its vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate against severe COVID cases.

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.