U.S. Department of State
The former regime of Nicolás Maduro has consistently violated and abused the human rights and dignity of the country’s citizens, plundered its natural resources, and driven a once-prosperous nation into economic ruin with Maduro’s authoritarian rule and ruinous economic policies. Maduro’s thugs have reportedly engaged in killings and physical abuse, detained political opponents, and severely interfered with the exercise of freedom of expression, all in a brutal effort to retain power.
MADURO’S CORRUPTION & INCOMPETENCE:
On July 25, 2019, the United States sanctioned Maduro’s three stepsons (Walter, Yosser, and Yoswal Flores), and seven other individuals, as well as 13 entities, involved in a complex network of bribery and money laundering that has been stealing from the people of Venezuela through a for-fee food distribution program known as the CLAP.
Maduro and his associates have been responsible for the theft and embezzlement of billions of dollars from the Venezuelan people over many years. Regime insiders have also been involved in drug smuggling, and the illicit removal of gold from the Venezuelan Central bank.
Maduro has financed himself by “cranking up the central bank printing presses. That has ballooned the supply of the national currency, the bolivar, which has lost more than 99 percent of its value since 2013 and is virtually worthless.” (Bloomberg Businessweek, March 9, 2019)
The bolivar’s accumulated inflation 2014-2018 was more than twenty-two million, according to the Central Bank of Venezuela. As a result of Maduro’s actions, the people of Venezuela can no longer afford to live in their own country.
Similarly, Venezuela’s infrastructure has begun to collapse under Maduro. For example, the electrical system has rapidly deteriorated since March, resulting in nation-wide blackouts and the increasing rationing of electricity in many states. In 2016, Maduro declared approximately 12 percent of the country to be a part of an “Orinoco Mining Arc” and awarded himself broad authorities to oversee the exploitation of resources for personal gain. Maduro ejected foreign companies from Venezuela and replaced employees with untrained workers who operate under the leadership of senior Venezuelan military officers.
VENEZUELA’S MADURO-MADE CRISIS:
Economic Decline: The International Monetary Fund estimated that the cumulative decline of the Venezuelan economy since 2013 will surpass 60 percent and is among the deepest five-year contractions the world has seen over the last half century.