“Maduro is more dependent on the military as a result of the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela. So, these sanctions, and this hard-line approach that really dates back to the Obama Administration is having a big impact on Venezuela in a number of ways.” – Steve Ellner, from this week’s interview
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Western media paint a grim picture of Venezuela and the humanitarian crisis it has had to endure since 2014.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, over 1.5 million people have left the country since 2014.
In July, Alejandro Werner, director of the IMF Western Hemisphere department, described the country as being “stuck in a profound economic and social crisis,” with an estimated 18 percent drop in real GDP by the end of 2018, and a projected surge in inflation of up to 1,000,000 percent, painting an economic situation in the Latin American country comparable to that of post World War I Germany or late 2000s Zimbabwe. 
In early September, Canada’s national public broadcaster CBC, on its morning public affairs program THE CURRENT, aired a segment on the humanitarian crisis afflicting Venezuela. It reported on the food and medicine shortages that was driving Venezuelans to flee the country. Throughout the broadcast there was mention of scarcity in an oil-rich country, insinuating that the blame fell on President Maduro and his inept or corrupt ‘regime.’
Of course, there are some external factors influencing the situation there. Sanctions have been imposed on the nation by the Trump Administration with Canada among those countries following suit. The stated reason for the sanctions was in protest of the Maduro government was undermining democratic principles and fair elections. 
Anti-government protests in the streets have added to the turmoil. Sources indicated that 38 people died during the 2014 protests, and fully 137 perished in the 2017 protests. 
On August 4th an attempt was made on President Maduro’s life using drones armed with explosives. This took place while President Maduro was addressing the nation during a live television broadcast on the occasion of the celebrations around the 81st anniversary of the Venezuelan National Guard.