Venezuela, a country on the northern coast of South America, is currently experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with widespread poverty and roughly five million citizens fleeing in the last few years. So, what has caused this political turmoil to escalate to such an extent?


In 2001 Venezuela was the richest country in its continent and known as the fossil-fuel hotspot of the world, with oil making up 90% of its revenue. However, in 2013 Nicolas Maduro, the leader of Venezuela’s socialist party, won the presidential elections and the country began to experience serious hyperinflation. The plummeting of crude oil prices took a toll on the financial sector, resulting in the currency (bolivar) rapidly decreasing in value. 

Nicolás Maduro was held to blame for this economic decline, hence unsurprising that many Venezuelans and opposition parties began to protest and voice their opinions on his questionable regime and politics. Despite his lack of popularity, in 2018 he was voted in for a second six-year term which caused a general sense of lividity and unease within the country. 

So much so, that the leader of the opposition party Juan Guaidó declared himself the president of Venezuela, yet Maduro still remains in the presidential palace. Guaidó’s role in power is recognised by the USA, most of Western Europe and many neighbouring countries in Latin America, whilst Maduro is supported by Russia, China, Cuba, and several others. 

Aside from the tension in politics itself, this situation is having drastic consequences for Venezuelan civilians as they endure a lack of essential food and medicine, not to mention the exposure to sex and drug exploitation in this crime-ridden country. Maduro’s methods of ruling have been questioned by the USA and the UN, but regardless of these countless sanctions, and accusations of committing "egregious crimes", he continues to rule.

Maduro has even proceeded to even deny humanitarian aid from the USA, as he claims, “they are not a country of beggars”, whilst the UN estimated in 2019 that up to 25% of people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. This situation is further complicated by the involvement of Russia and the USA, both of which are heavily active in Venezuela’s political situation yet forming relations with the drastically different opponents : Maduro and Guaidó.

With so many Venezuelans living in such unbearable and harsh conditions, the solutions rest in vast amounts of humanitarian assistance, and the eventual settling of such a tense and damaging political situation.