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Venezuela used to be a model of progress for Latin-America. It was one of the leading economies of the region with its strong oil industry, advanced infrastructure and improving education system. During almost 60 years of democracy, the country received immigrants from other countries of the region and from the world. It was easy to fell in love with Venezuela, a nation with infinite beauty and a promising future.
Now the country is facing the worst economic crisis of its history with a projected inflation of 3500%. Medicine scarcity has gone up to 85%. More than six minimum wages are required to buy the basic food basket. 88% of the Venezuelan youth wants to emigrate from the country. Caracas, the capital city, has been recognized as the most dangerous city in the world. There are 114 political prisoners, including a congressman, a mayor, an opposition presidential candidate, police officers, students and other civilians. There have been 55 accusations of torture documented in front of the the Hage Court of Human Rights
Earlier this month, the government decided to dissolve Congress, the only independent power (controlled by the opposition) that was left in Venezuela. From that moment, unrest has raised to unprecedented levels and the government has responded with disproportional brutality.
International pressure remains a key factor to advocate for human rights in Venezuela and support the country to find stability again. The Organization of American States., the U.N., the E.U., International Media and many other organizations have joined in this effort.
Given the circumstances, a group of Venezuelans in Carnegie Mellon has decided to join and share with the University some of the key aspects that led the country to the current state of affairs.
There is much to be learned from success cases, but there is even more to be learned from the consequences of populism, inequality, and ineffective public policies. It is when you lose democracy when you appreciate the most.