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Venezuela in Crisis

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“Poverty, which was once the flagship of the Bolivarian revolution, is back to pre-Chavez levels. These policies were unsustainable – it was all based on subsidies based on the high price of oil, and now the government is maybe not unwilling, but definitely unable to protect the Venezuelan poor.” – Dany Bahar

“This next year will be quite critical. Not only is the problem of scarcity extremely serious in Venezuela—and we’re seeing this reflected in social unrest and people looking for ways to address their basic needs—but Venezuela also has very important international debt payments coming up in the second half of the year that may possibly lead it to the situation of contemplating a default, with very unpredictable results. We also have the timing of the recall referendum. So there are a number of different aspects coming to a head, any which one of could become a crucial turning point in the country’s forward path.” – Harold Trinkunas

In this episode of “Intersections,” Harold Trinkunas, senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative, and Dany Bahar, fellow in Global Economy and Development, discuss Venezuela’s political and economic crisis, and how it is the result not just of dropping oil prices, but of years of economic mismanagement.

With thanks to audio engineer and producer Zack Kulzer, Mark Hoelscher, Carisa Nietsche, Sara Abdel-Rahim, Jacob Saliba, Fred Dews and Richard Fawal.

Questions? Comments? Email us at intersections@brookings.edu

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