Venezuela on a Knife’s Edge Ahead of Upcoming Elections

Venezuela on a Knife’s Edge Ahead of Upcoming Elections
An opposition member walks under a Venezuelan flag during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 19, 2015 (AP photo by Fernando Llano).

With a month left until Venezuela’s pivotal parliamentary elections, the country has been jolted by accusations that the government’s case against a top opposition leader was a sham. Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro is vowing that he will not surrender power under any circumstances. The stage is now set for the country’s already turbulent political environment to become even more dangerously unstable.

Despite the highly charged political rhetoric, it is not politics but basic subsistence needs that dominate the concerns of most Venezuelans. Shortages of all manner of basic goods, triple-digit inflation and off-the-charts crime rates have made life a daily struggle. The economy is expected to shrink by about 10 percent this year, making it the country’s worst recession in 70 years, although the projections are complicated by the government’s failure to release basic economic data.

Inept economic policies had already wreaked havoc even before global oil prices collapsed, squeezing government finances to the breaking point. Now the state has resorted to selling gold reserves to pay its bills.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.