Seeds: Venezuela has been collapsing since the beginning of the 21st century. The country has been dependent on its exports of oil but since the price of oil went down, their economy has suffered significantly, causing rampant inflation. As well as this, the country is currently experiencing a drought, which means that there are not only water shortages, but also power outages due to the country’s dependence on hydroelectric power. Food is being rationed and basic medicine such as aspirin is nowhere to be found. Furthermore, the murder rate is incredibly high, as is the unemployment rate. Essentially, Venezuela is in a really, really bad place right now. Last spring, Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro issued a decree declaring a state of emergency in the country. This declaration will give Maduro more control in the country to deal with the intricacies of the economic crisis, as well as the installation of stricter security measures to lessen the violence. The Supreme Court of Venezuela stated that this decree was constitutional, even though parliament previously rejected it.
Core: Today 20 people were injured with 39 detained after several anti-government protests. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest Maduro's refusal to allow a referendum that could potentially take him from power.
Skin: Although many western nations tend to look at Maduro in a less favorable light, internally the divide is much less clear, creating violent protests. As well as this, the anti-United States rhetoric being splashed about makes international intervention extremely unlikely, given that Maduro accused the US of plotting a coup against his socialist government.
Leaves: Opposition leaders have threatened to march on Maduro's presidential palace, something that hasn't been done since the military coup in 2002. One can only hope that the lights turn back on in this country wracked with violence, corruption, and poverty.
Food For Thought: What do you think will happen in Venezuela? Do you think that the United States should become involved, or do you think the United States has gotten too involved in other countries’ affairs – as Maduro implied?