Venezuela’s Countryside Is Collapsing

USA World
Parmana, a fishing village on the banks of the Orinoco River in central Venezuela, has been abandoned by the government.Credit…Adriana Loureiro Fernandez for The New York Times

New York Times: Venezuela’s Countryside Is Collapsing. The Capital Hums, on the President’s Orders

To solidify his grip on power, President Nicolás Maduro is channeling resources to Caracas while abandoning rural Venezuelans, who are often without electricity, police or currency.

PARMANA, Venezuela — From his palace in Caracas, President Nicolás Maduro projects an image of strength and his grip on power appears secure. Residents have a regular supply of electricity and gasoline. Shops are bursting with imported goods.

But beyond the city, this facade of order quickly melts away. In order to preserve the quality of life of his most important backers, the country’s political and military elites, his administration has poured the country’s dwindling resources into Caracas and forsaken large swaths of Venezuela.

“Venezuela is broken as a state, as a country,” said Dimitris Pantoulas, a political analyst in Caracas. “The few available resources are invested in the capital to protect the seat of power, creating a ministate amid the collapse.”

Across much of the country, basic government functions like policing, road maintenance, health care and public utilities have been abandoned.

The only remaining evidence of the state in Parmana, a fishing village on the banks of the Orinoco River, is the three teachers who remain at the school, which lacks food, books, and even a marker for the board.


WNU Editor: Venezuela’s countryside isn’t collapsing. It has already collapsed.

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