Opposition demonstrator wear gas mask in Caracas

GIS Dossier: Venezuela lives on the edge

  • Venezuela’s oil-based social model has bred political crisis since the 1980s
  • Even in a state of decay, the Chavist regime has proved remarkably durable
  • President Maduro outfoxed the opposition, which ignored the military’s crucial role
  • Sovereign default may provide a chance for outside mediation

GIS’s “Dossier” biweekly series aims to give our subscribers a quick overview of key topics, regions or conflicts. This entry surveys Venezuela’s ongoing economic and political crisis, based on a selection of GIS reports since 2013.

Venezuela’s descent into economic and political chaos has been going on for years. It long predates the death of the country’s charismatic military leader, President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), who himself rode to power on an economic and social crisis sparked by a two-decade slump in oil prices that started in the mid-1980s.

The slow erosion of Venezuela’s political system caused by that earlier debt crunch, worsened by rampant corruption and poverty, ultimately led Mr. Chavez to victory in the 1998 presidential elections at the head of a populist revolt. Now his brand of deficit-spending redistribution, which he called “socialism in the 21st century,” is itself undergoing a slow-motion collapse.

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 GIS Feature
What Mr. Chavez changed was to divert more of the petroleum windfall to welfare spending
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • Venezuela’s oil-based social model has bred political crisis since the 1980s
  • Even in a state of decay, the Chavist regime has proved remarkably durable
  • President Maduro outfoxed the opposition, which ignored the military’s crucial role
  • Sovereign default may provide a chance for outside mediation
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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