Venezuela is in HUGE trouble. That is no surprise to anyone at this point.

The country, which was once seen as the perfect socialist state by the radical left is now crumbling, both economically and democratically.

The scale of the country’s fall can only be understood by those who were there before things took a turn for the worse.

In 2017, Venezuela’s economy was 35% smaller than it was in 2013 in terms of gross domestic product.

For comparison, during the 1929-1933 Great Depression in the United States, when US GDP is estimated to have fallen 28%.

A 40% decline in per capita GDP is a very rare event, but several factors make the situation in Venezuela even bleaker: For starters, while Venezuela’s GDP contraction (in constant prices) from 2013 to 2017 includes a 17% decline in oil production, it excludes the 55% plunge in oil prices during that period. Oil exports fell by $2,200 per capita from 2012 to 2016, of which $1,500 was due to the decline in oil prices.

For decades, Venezuela’s main export and source of income has been oil. A major drop in oil prices could send country into an economic tailspin. It happened in 2013 and 2014.

When times were good in the oil markets and oil was worth more than $100 a barrel the country was able to grow rapidly and offer its citizens a better quality of life.

But three years after the crash in oil prices, Venezuela’s economy crumbled and its citizens suffered. Venezuela certainly had problems before the oil-price crash, but it definitely accelerated and exacerbated those issues.

Fresh trouble has been sparked in the country in 2017 by an election decried by critics as illegitimate and designed to give the unpopular government of President Nicolas Maduro powers to rewrite the country’s constitution and sideline its opposition-led legislature, the National Assembly. This fraudulent election held on July 30th, allowed Maduro and his supporters to install a new assembly of representatives that would be more powerful than any other branch of the already broken government of Venezuela. The so-called National Constituent Assembly. It was just another slap in the face of democracy as Venezuela fell further into dictatorship and tyranny.

The US and the European countries have labeled Maduro a dictator and a narco-government, due to his government being heavily involved in the drug trade and most recently, in support of terrorism. Venezuela is becoming a worse threat to the United States and the civilized world as time passes.

At the same time, inflation in the country is still growing uncontrollably, while the country’s currency, the bolivar, devalues at an almost unbelievable rate.

While the official rate of exchange between the US dollar and the bolivar is roughly 10 bolivars to the dollar, in reality it is more like 23,000. (This sentence was written in August 2017. As of June, 2018 the Bolivar is almost at 3,000,000 to $1 US Dollar!)

Inflation exceeded 1,600% by the end of 2017, according to some estimates, and many restaurants have stopped publishing prices because costs are rocketing so fast.

Venezuela is on a death spiral that is not stoppable at this point and the only thing left to do is to brace for impact until that crash inevitably comes. Once rock bottom is hit and it can’t get any worse, then Venezuela can begin the long process to rebuild. But in order to get to that stage, Venezuela must first rid itself of the dictator and lunatic that is Maduro and his entire regime of narco-fueled leaders and a purge must take place to allow Venezuela to return to a true democracy.

Hopefully, this will happen soon but it has been hard to tell if the current opposition has the will and strength to accomplish anything at this point. It may be left to new opposition movements such as Soy Venezuela or even the international powers to re-establish democracy in the once rich nation of Venezuela once again.