War Cry

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Political unrest in Venezuela after Juan Guaidó appointed himself as President

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Juan Guaidó, supported by the U.S., Canada and other democratic nations, appointed himself as Venezuela’s interim President and declared Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate President, causing protests across the country in support of Guaidó.

Guaidó promises to fix the country’s collapsed economy, food shortages and hyperinflation. Since the start of the protest, reports of violence, arrests and deaths between the protesters for Guaidó and Venezuelan police have dramatically risen.

Maduro, backed by Russia and China, accused Guaidó of staging a coup against him directed by the U.S.

“You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood…,” Maduro said in an interview referring to President Donald Trump’s comment about how the U.S. would handle the political unrest in Venezuela, including military intervention. “Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?”

In an interview with the BBC, Maduro accused the U.S. of being run by “the extreme right” and called Trump a “white supremacist.”

“I believe that the extremist sector of the white supremacists of the Ku Klux Klan lead the United States,” Maduro said in the BBC interview. “It’s an extremist sector that hates the world. […]Say no to the intervention, tell the United States, hands off Venezuela, and support Venezuela in its own efforts to resolve its own problems through dialogue.”

Maduro refuses to allow foreign aid to come into the country and ordered the military to block the highways. U.S. humanitarian aid arrived at the country’s border on Feb.8 but was stopped by the Venezuelan military.

“We will organize ourselves into brigades,” Gaudió said calling to allow the vital aid across the border. “The message we have to get through to the armed forces is that they have one week to do the right thing. Will you be on the side of your family and your people, or of the usurper who keeps lying?”

Venezuela’s economy has been at a steep decline since Maduro became President after the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013. The country’s current inflation rate is at 1.7 million percent.

Since 2015, over three million people migrated out of Venezuela due to economic issues and shortages on vital necessities such as jobs, medicine and food.

Two years ago, the cost for a cup of coffee was 450 Bolivars. Now, due to hyperinflation, the same cup of coffee cost up to 1 million bolivars or 29 U.S. cents, according to Bloomberg.

In remote areas of the country, some towns and villages completely abandoned the worthless paper currency and moved back to more primitive bartering systems, trading goods and services instead of cash.

Unlike the coffee, gas is dirt cheap due the country’s large amount of natural oil reserves. One fuel tanker holding 9,000 gallons of gasoline is only worth about seven dollars in Venezuela. That same tanker would cost 25,000 dollars across the border in Colombia. Gas is so cheap, gas station attendants have stopped asking for money and instead ask for goods which are at a scarcity.

Under Chávez, the country’s economy focused on oil and ignored other economic resources such as tourism and agriculture. This meant when global oil prices went down, the entire Venezuelan economy would dramatically drop as well.

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Political unrest in Venezuela after Juan Guaidó appointed himself as President