Five Venezuelans that are explaining the situation unfolding in my country

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Venezuela is the topic du jour. With Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and Marco Rubio all voicing their support for the country’s new, self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaidó, what seems to be emerging is another cautionary tale of the United States getting involved in Latin American revolutions. But there is also a lot of confusion and information to absorb.

As a journalism student at Northeastern University and Venezuelan watching this unfold from the U.S., I see a lot of information being misunderstood or mischaracterized. So here, from the horse’s mouth, are five Venezuelans explaining the current situation and how the people of my country are feeling.

Venezuela’s Suicide: Lessons from a Failed State

Written by Venezuelan columnist Moisés Naim and journalist Francisco Toro, this article in Foreign Affairs details the breakdown of the Venezuelan economy from the 70’s to now. It looks at the series of events that led Hugo Chavez to be elected, the economy during his presidency, and the shift to Nicolás Maduro’s regime. It is very dense and rich and sentences like this one make it well worth the read: “A toxic combination of Cuban influence, runaway corruption, the dismantling of democratic checks and balances, and sheer incompetence has kept Venezuela locked into catastrophic economic policies.”

Venezuela’s Two Presidents

In this episode of Vox’s weekly podcast, Today Explained, host Sean Rameswaram interviews Venezuelan journalist Maria Zuniga about the protests this past January 23 and about explains who Juan Guaidó is and what he’s trying to do.

What’s Happening in Venezuela?

Joanna Hausmann is a comedian and internet personality. Her father is a well known Venezuelan economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School and her uncle, as she says in the video, is a journalist currently jailed for covering Maduro’s regime. She explains Maduro’s fraudulent reelection and take down of the National Assembly (Venezuela’s congress).

A note on her video, at one point she says that Maduro has reduced the minimum salary to around $7 a month. She doesn’t explain that this is because of the value of the Bolivar, decimated by inflation, rather than a decree from Maduro directly.

Venezuela’s Two Presidents

Mike Centeno is a Venezuelan illustrator and cartoonist that has been covering the Venezuelan crisis for The Nib. His latest piece explains more about the situation, and delves into the feeling of the Venezuelan people, including the anxiety we feel watching all of this unfold.


Fabiana is a graudate student at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.

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