In the early 1970s, Venezuela was an exemplar of democracy and Latin America’s richest economy. Fast forward to today, and the country finds itself in a state of economic free fall, with an annual hyperinflation rate of one million percent. 89% of Venezuela’s population lack enough to eat. Public services, including health care and schools, are near collapse. Violence is rampant and drug trafficking has become a main source of income for the governing elite that used to preside over a flourishing oil sector. What caused Venezuela’s spectacular collapse? Two Latin American scholars provide answers in a concise historical analysis for Foreign Affairs.
About the Authors
Moisés Naím is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Francisco Toro is Chief Content Officer at the Group of Fifty.