How Venezuela is ‘going to hell’ and what to do about it
Posted On August 3, 2021
VENEZUELA, Venezuela (AP) President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday he would not seek reelection this year and would instead seek to push through a reform package that could bring about the country’s largest-ever economic overhaul.
Venezuela’s Supreme Court is expected to rule on a request for a presidential recall on Jan. 3, a year after Maduro’s ruling socialist party won a presidential election and Maduro resigned.
The country’s economic problems have worsened since Maduro was elected president in 2013.
Venezuela has a $3.5 billion public debt and inflation of more than 150 percent, but inflation has been on the decline.
The socialist government has said it will not default on the debt.
Maduro’s popularity has dipped as the country struggles with chronic shortages of basic goods.
He has sought to stoke the nation’s anger and blamed international sanctions for driving up inflation.
The economy has grown by only 0.6 percent over the past year.
The government has not released an inflation figure.
Madiviero, who has won two elections since taking office in 2014, said in a televised speech that the reforms would bring about “a much better life for the Venezuelans.”
Voters will choose a new president in a national vote that will determine the next president and the countrys next four-year term.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Torrealba, right, addresses a news conference with members of the Socialist Party, left, in Caracas on Sunday.
Maduro won a second term on Sunday in a landslide, beating opposition challenger Henrique Capriles, who won the presidential election on Saturday.
Capriles had sought to bring about a constitutional rewrite to reverse Maduro’s decision to cancel the June 2016 referendum, but the government refused to negotiate.
He said Sunday’s vote would show Maduro is “no longer the dictator” of Venezuela.
Madurizas approval rating in the polls, which are being closely watched, has slipped to 42 percent, according to the latest polling by the Center for Political and Electoral Research (CPE).
He has lost support since he was re-elected in a 2014 election that he won by nearly 20 percentage points.
In a televised address Sunday, Maduro called the opposition a threat to the nations prosperity and said the opposition should not try to interfere with the country s economy.
The opposition, which has ruled Venezuela for nearly two decades, has been a major thorn in the side of Maduro, who vowed to purge the opposition of political opponents and to punish anyone who tried to undermine his authority.
Madura, who is in his final year in office, also said he would work to improve the country, which is reeling from two years of economic crisis, shortages of food, medicine and electricity and widespread violence.
He said Maduro was committed to the economic reforms because they were necessary to improve economic conditions.
The Maduro government has tried to turn a blind eye to the protests, which began last year and have resulted in more than 1,200 deaths and thousands of arrests.