Nicolás Maduro

Economic crisis, violence, food shortages and the terrible financial insecurity, have deepened the national diaspora. More than 4 million Venezuelan have left their country. It is the largest migration crisis in modern Latin American history.

Link between Chavismo and society

Maduro is an anti-imperialist. It could be argued that he is even more than what Chávez seemed to be due to the recent US sanctions. In his opinion, imperial powers have always conspired to keep the world periphery peripheral, like Venezuela. As such he followed the legacy left by Chávez, which aimed to bring national liberation. Due to this, there was a massive formation of socialist collectives that were aimed to socially empower and include the historically oppressed sectors. 

For this, both Chavista governments invested in primary and secondary education, preventative healthcare and food security. Regarding that in 2014 when Maduro came into power, 48% of the population lived in poverty, these types of subsidies inevitably made these people praise Maduro. For them, he was their hero. This system is a vicious system of subsidies since people were not encouraged at all to work or seek higher well-paid jobs. The ending result was that Maduro created a population utterly dependent on him. Today, 2020, the poverty level in Venezuela has reached 90%, meaning that sadly many Venezuelans are powerless and depend on Maduro simply to survive.

Flourishing Venezuelan Diaspora

Since 2014, when the economic crisis started and Maduro’s regime became more radical, converting Venezuela into a fully-fledged dictatorship, millions of people have migrated elsewhere. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 4.8 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014. Though, reports from the Organisation of American States (OAS) have declared that this number could be as high as 8 million today. Such a migratory crisis, shows that Maduro has been unable to address the problems of the Venezuelan diaspora today. Consequently, the turn-out for Maduro has been an international humiliation.

As a response, Maduro’s unscrupulous officials made a life for Venezuelans abroad very difficult. For instance, their fundamental rights to identification are violated, they are unable to renew their passports or identity cards.  Venezuelans do also find in some cases very difficult to homologate their academic and professional documentation. Moreover, the regime in many occasions took possession over the bank accounts of those who left. Finally, Venezuelans abroad have also been deprived of their constitutional right to vote. Overall, these are clear examples on why and how the Maduro government radicalised and became more corrupt than Chávez’s. He had to do something drastic and radical to prevent people from going. However, the corruption and theaction of mafias that he promoted, discouraged even more people from staying in Venezuela under Maduro’s regime. 

Berta Pereda Asencio

Research & Analysis Writer