Venezuela is sliding closer and closer toward the brink, and things look as if they’ll get worse, unfortunately, before they improve.
A country that boasts the largest proven oilfield in the world should not be facing such dire food and medicine shortages, not to mention rampant protests and violence in the streets. But that’s what happens when far-left, authoritarian socialist regimes threaten to dissolve economic freedom, the rule of law and democracy itself.
As you might have heard, Venezuelans will be participating in an election this Sunday that could permanently amend the country’s constitution for the worse. Depending on the outcome, President Nicolas Maduro is poised to become the world’s next absolute dictator.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department issued economic sanctions on 13 current and former Venezuela government officials in an effort to encourage Maduro to drop the election, which—let’s be honest—is likely rigged in his favor. According to Transparency International, Venezuela is among the most corrupt countries on the planet,ranking 166 out of 176 in 2016.
So why am I telling you this? Again, Venezuela sits atop the world’s largest proven oil patch. Crude accounts for roughly 95 percent of its export earnings. If Maduro does not relent, the U.S. could very possibly target the country’s oil industry next.