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Venezuela: a dystopia for some, a land of opportunity for others

We can't talk about Venezuela without thinking about delicious chocolate, beautiful women, Caribbean beaches, and oil, lots and lots of it.

With these elements, anyone would think that Venezuela is a paradise in Latin America, a country to travel to, and in comfort, above all, a nation everybody assumes is rich, thanks precisely to its resources.

By 1956 this was real; the Bolivar, the country's national currency, was worth more than the U.S. dollar. This was thanks to the government's economic policy when Marcos Perez Jimenez was president.

Writing from a neutral point of view was an arduous task years ago when many praised the arrival of socialism in the country. Still, a large percentage rejected these policies, and today, the successor Maduro, has shown with his poor government beyond a destructive ideology. In general, it has been the politicians of the country (from all sides) who have used the population to take advantage of the resources of the South American country.

No, there are no "two sides" since the politics of any country is neither black nor white; this is not meant to praise the current Venezuelan president; nor is it meant to speak on behalf of the opposition seeking world attention. No one meddles in other countries' affairs; regardless of what has been said, the United States has not invaded the country.

Venezuela is an ally of countries such as Cuba, a Caribbean country, where Venezuela provides oil as an exchange of materials and personnel; Russia has mostly business with the nation, Iran, or China, among others.

Venezuela's reality

A single analysis is not sufficient to talk about all the situations in Venezuela, but today it is a country that, after several experiments, lives in a divided reality.

A dystopia for those who suffer the transport issues or electric crises every day. A place of opportunities and growth for those who somehow have enough to invest and live with luxuries and comforts. The strange thing about this new post-pandemic reality is that the dividing line is blurred, and there is much to research to be aware of each situation.

Some essential facts about the situation in Venezuela:

        Venezuela is the country with the world's highest inflation. Since 2014 the government has struggled with a daily devaluation of its currency, the Bolivar. The prices of products and almost all expenses are based on the dollar, which is also affected by depreciation.

        In 2015 and 2016, the price regulation affected the acquisition of essential products such as diapers, rice, soap, shampoo, and medication. Citizens in all cities faced long lines that could last from 12 hours to 2 days in a row.

        Long lines to buy gasoline also occurred. Even though the country was in its prime, the world's largest oil exporter today faces a transportation crisis due to the low fuel production, which is insufficient to supply the country. Currently, there are long lines every two or three days to get some fuel, paid at "free price" or dollar price.

        An important fact is that the population does not have legal access to the purchase of foreign currency. The dollar circulation is daily; it happens mainly due to the civilian trade- market between Venezuela and Colombia. Parallel to remittances sent from abroad to residents of the country.

        Due to the country's situation, in the last few years, the migratory crisis went from being a simple "brain drain" to being the second migration crisis worldwide, only surpassed by the Syrian emigrants.

        The minimum salary, expressed in Bolivars, is equivalent to 4 dollars per month, although it has recently increased to 40 dollars, worsening the population's inflationary crisis.

Despite all these data, the country faced a pandemic without much control due to the crisis in the health sector; but this 2021 and so far in 2022, Venezuela has seen a kind of renaissance.

Many continue to emigrate to feel safe and have a good lifestyle; many others who left have returned, considering the situation in countries like Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, where the vast majority migrated. Many returned to the country with some savings, and the desire to start again because of the pandemic, virtual jobs, online stores, and businesses such as Dropshipping, gave rise to a greater flow of income.

For some is better to earn 300 dollars in Venezuela, their home country, than to earn it somewhere else. Sure, when it comes to security or health issues, it is preferable not to be in Venezuela, but let's not get distracted.

Anyone with internet access (even if it is not very good) can work from home. Online work, especially in developing countries like the Latinos, is targeted because it is cheap. It has been a way for the population to have a little more purchasing power.

Another aspect is that many companies have come to the capital, Caracas, and the main tourist spots like Margarita or Lecherías, giving rise to new restaurants, stores, and new companies hiring local staff.

Venezuela is a failed state

Indeed its political situation contributes to the proliferation of corruption in its large corporations, such as PDVSA, and even in its armed forces, which serve the government.

The truth is that many strategies, such as regulating essential goods, contributed to Venezuela's current state.

One portion of the population eats out of the garbage; another tries to have an everyday life by working every day to earn some extra cash. Some sell what they have to leave and start from scratch somewhere else; finally, that portion of those who can afford meals over 100 dollars a plate, go to concerts or have their own business.

It is no longer about being on one political side or supporting a few; in 2017, the country faced what could be described as a civil war. Every so often, its streets are filled with people protesting for the validation of their rights or some electoral issue.

Long ago, the situation within the country moved away from being merely political, and the truth has been hidden or erased

Venezuela could be considered an experimental nation, which could serve as an example of how a country full of resources and wealth fails to emerge from a terrible economic and social situation.

Or the mirror of many nations that embrace a brief renaissance for a little more comfort, more oxygen to those who run what once was the welcoming door to South America.

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