}

World

Venezuela’s collapse: Enduring a catastrophe

Once the envy of Latin America, Venezuela is a country in near ruins. Hyperinflation has rendered the bolívar, the local currency, as worthless as confetti. Corruption, economic sanctions and mismanagement have left the country’s infrastructure in a state of collapse. It is a place where death can be as much of a struggle as life. Children die from treatable ailments, protesters battle with national guardsmen in the streets, residents gather water from mud puddles and families cannot afford to bury their dead.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Venezuela’s pride and economic engine, the oil industry, is a toxic shell of its former self. Residents of proud and prosperous cities, like Maracaibo and Cabimas, are left to look through garbage piles and oil-polluted waters to survive. An uprising on April 30 was a spectacular failure. The opposition has become fractured in its wake with allegations of corruption and divisions weakening the movement. President Nicolás Maduro, who many blame for the rapid collapse, seems to have weathered the storm that was 2019.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Protests have diminished, and optimism that any change will come has evaporated. Indeed, Maduro has solidified his grip on power as the opposition has fallen into disarray following the failed uprising.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post