So, Venezuela has held elections.. What does that mean exactly?
After 17 years of leftist rule it does appear that Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution is over. Well of sorts, Venezuela has just voted for parliamentary elections, not Presidential – and the makeup of the parliament has changed markedly.
The ruling socialist movement has seen a big loss of seats, as the centre left and centre right have, as of today won 99 out of a total of163 seats with 22 seats not yet decided. Sure, the anointed president Madero is still in power, but it is the glimmer of hope that people across the region had hoped for.
Venezuela has some of the world’s richest oil reserves, and for many years was one of the richest countries in Latin America. It is also home to significant deposits of natural gas, gold, iron ore and other minerals. Years of corruption and politics have changed the dynamic of this country and socialist government has brought the economy to almost breaking bad point, with 100% inflation in 2015. The GDP has shrunk by 10% in 2015 also. Everyday items such as flour, corn, cooking oil and even toilet paper are hard to come by, and Venezuelans have become accustomed to empty shelves in supermarkets. Crime is out of control, and Caracas has a murder rate that is up there to really make it one of the world’s most dangerous cities. This popular vote follows the recent trend of leftist governments slowly being replaced across the region – the most recent being Argentina just two weeks ago replacing the 12 year long Kirchner dynasty with centre right candidate Macri winning the presidential vote.
Venezuelans across the world are celebrating. In Australia, Venezuelan comedian and entertainer, Ivan Aristeguieta feels that the elections “give hope to a better future for Venezuela as they show the dawn of a destructive, corrupt and demagogue regime”.
John Kerry, U.S secretary of state said “The United States congratulates the people of Venezuela for making their voices heard in a peaceful and democratic way on election day”
Located entirely in the tropics, Venezuela offers plenty for the tourist, from stunning beaches, To the table topped north eastern extension of the Andes, the Caribbean sea, rainforest, The Orinoco river delta, Warm hearted locals and the world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls. It is also home to a host of wildlife including Jaguar, Giant Anteaters, Three toed sloths, Amazon River dolphins, manatees and more. It is also home to over 25,000 species of orchards. Biodiversity abounds in this incredible country. Venezuela borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east and Brazil to the south.
Chimu Adventures does offer trips in Venezuela and other South American countries and many clients are still enjoying the country – we do recommend visiting the less populated areas and avoiding major cities, however with the change in government we do hope and we look forward to doing our part to help get tourism numbers back to where they belong!