Venezuela’s leftist government has used oil money to create a thriving welfare state that has given millions of its citizens access to the comforts of life. But President Nicolás Maduro, who has governed since 2013, has struggled to crack down on rampant corruption.
Few in Venezuela expected things to get this bad. Meanwhile, some oil-rich economies have caught fire. Fast Facts provides a brief history of the country.
“The Socialist Republic of Venezuela, in the twenty-first century, presides over one of the world’s poorest and most corrupt economies. Economic research also suggests the nation has a weak public administration capable of doing little to save the situation. This situation has led to one of the world’s most dramatic falls in the public satisfaction with President Nicolás Maduro’s leadership.”
— Richard Fuller, The Economist, 2013
“Amid the hardship and poverty, government corruption continues to flourish.”
— Katty Kay, BBC News, 2017
“The country has one of the world’s largest crude reserves, one third of the world’s but it is notorious for lack of accountability and therefore lack of transparency.
The government was always corrupt, but since the middle of last decade the scope of the corruption is wider and deeper.”
— John Pilger, International Socialism Review, 2012