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Yearbook 2015

Venezuela. For the first time since 1999, Venezuela received a majority on December 6 that was not dominated by the Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV), whose predecessor was formed in 1997 by the late President Hugo Chávez. The current president, Chávez's hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro, quickly acknowledged the party's defeat. The Opposition Alliance The Democratic Alliance (MUD) victory was designated as historic and a milestone in Venezuela's political development. PSUV's defeat was particularly evident in the high turnout, above 74%, and not particularly unexpected. The PSUV has gradually weakened under Maduro, who is not considered on the long road to have the same charismatic ability to mobilize his constituents as Chávez.

2015 Venezuela

The position of the opposition in Congress gives it the opportunity to implement several institutional changes that have been wanted for several years; dismissal of government members, approval of the budget and appointments to several important social agencies.

According to COUNTRYAAH, the political climate was tense throughout the year and concerns about increased tensions after the election results were evident. In February, Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, one of the most radical opponents of President Maduro, was arrested accused of preparing a coup against Maduro. Nine soldiers were arrested at about the same time at the same time. It was not better that one of the opposition candidates, Luís Manuel Díaz, was murdered in the middle of an election in the state of Guárico two weeks before Election Day. Already in February, a 14-year-old was killed by one of the police's rubber bullets during a demonstration meeting in San Cristóbal in western Venezuela. In the past, harassment by PSUV's sympathizers to opposition members was not uncommon. In September, Leopoldo López, another of the opposition's leading figures, was also sentenced,

An important reason for the opposition's victory in the December congressional elections was the worrying economic situation in the country. Inflation was Latin America's highest with 68% on an annual basis in 2014, and President Maduro himself was forced to admit after the price increases accelerated in February that inflation in 2015 was likely to reach 85%, while a low oil price put the country into deep recession and payments on external debt amounted to $ 13 billion. The financial problems as a result of reduced state income meant that the government's efforts and promises during the election campaign could not be financed, which greatly contributed to the electoral dissatisfaction and the opposition's victory. President Maduro, for his part, claimed that the United States waged an economic war against Venezuela.

Increased tensions with neighboring Colombia were seen by the opposition as a way to divert attention from the economy. Among other things, the state of emergency was introduced in the border state of Táchira, which was then extended to after the December election, which the opposition claimed was a way of making it difficult for its election campaign in the region. However, President Maduro argued that security concerns caused by the increased activities of Colombian paramilitaries and gangs in Venezuelan territory were behind the decision.

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