This FAQ page was put together to answer your Venezuela crisis questions.
Was the Current Crisis Brought On By Socialist Policies?
No. The former leader of Venezuela Hugo Chavez proclaimed a pursuit of socialist policies to benefit the poor under his political policy of Chavismo. A system of socialism did not have time to be established in Venezuela however. Instead, the boom in oil prices boosted programs for the poor, increased government corruption and allowed Venezuela to take on massive amounts of debt. The crisis arose when these dysfunctional economic policies were revealed as the price of oil began to sink from its historic highs. Chavismo did provide a lot of support for the poor but the crisis is Venezuela is much more about economic mismanagement and corruption than it is about socialism. Here is a good article from a reputable source on this question.
Is the U.S. Behind Venezuela’s Collapse?
No. Recently the Trump administration met with former generals of the Venezuelan military to discuss a potential coup to oust the Maduro government. These talks went nowhere and there is no plan for a US sponsored coup in Venezuela. These type of reports do however give cause for Venezuelan people to believe the president Nicolas Maduro who explains that the Venezuelan crisis is being caused by the Americans and is a plot to oust him. This is not true, but statements do not have to be true in order to be believed or to effectively keep a bad leader in office.
Are the Protests in Venezuela Only About Removing Maduro from Power?
No. The people of Venezuela are starving, unemployed and growing increasingly desperate as the scope of the crisis grows by the week. The removal of Maduro alone would not resolve the crisis. Maduro is the symbolic image of many of Venezuela’s woes but for the protesters this is about their needs and not his power.
Is China Supporting Venezuela?
Yes. China’s role in bringing relief to Venezuela has grown significantly since the summer of 2018. Future plans are for this trend to continue. This is effectively opening the door for China to have a foothold in one of the world’s largest oil resources. This relationship also gives China a foothold in the western hemisphere. This is a step that has been absolutely forbidden under all US foreign policy since President James Monroe in the early 19th century. It is now taking place with very little efforts to stop it.
This FAQ page on the Venezuela crisis is updated frequently with Venezuela crisis questions from my listeners and readers. If you have a question that should be addressed for a wider audience here please send it in. Also, check out my entire series of articles, podcasts and fact sheets on the Venezuela crisis at the Venezuela Crisis Explainer page.