In 1999, Hugo Chávez was elected as President in Venezuela. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chávez was seen as a beacon of hope in a nation that was struggling. Before assuming office, the Venezuelan people were disenchanted with the democratic administration that left more than 50 percent of all Venezuelan citizens in poverty. In hopes that he would follow through on promises of prosperity, the Venezuelan people elected Chávez as their president in 1999.
This would be the beginning of social and political unrest in Venezuela.
Chávez – who had taken to overspending the government’s wealth on social programs – would stay in office until his death in 2013. While in office, Chávez managed to nationalize the petroleum sector, telecommunications, electricity, steel and cement companies. He also introduced a referendum in 2009 which eliminated term-limits. The referendum was approved getting more than 54 percent of the votes.
After Chávez died of cancer in February 2013, Nicolás Maduro was appointed President.
Within Maduro’s first year as president, inflation climbed to over 50 percent and the economy took a nose dive. Maduro took a socialist dictatorship approach, disregarding legislature’s votes and declaring renewable states of emergency that gave the military more power to “maintain public order.” By 2017, the International Monetary Fund found that the Venezuelan GDP had dropped by 14 percent and the inflation rate was at 2,400 percent.
In what many believe to be a rigged election, Maduro won re-election in 2018. Soon after, the head of the National Assembly
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