Poverty and inflation began to increase into the 2010s. Nicolás Maduro was elected in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez. Chavez picked Maduro as his successor and appointed him vice president in 2013. Maduro was elected President in a shortened election in 2013 following Chavez’s death. Despite the demand for a recount and claims of manipulation by his competitor, Maduro was announced victorious.
Nicolás Maduro has been the President of Venezuela since 14 April 2013, after winning the second presidential election after Chávez’s death, with 50.61% of the votes against the opposition’s candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski who had 49.12% of the votes. The Democratic Unity Roundtable contested his election as fraud and as a violation of the constitution. However, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that under Venezuela’s Constitution, Nicolás Maduro is the legitimate president and was invested as such by the Venezuelan National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional). Opposition leaders and international media consider the government of Maduro to be a dictatorship. Beginning in February 2014, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have protested over high levels of criminal violence, corruption, hyperinflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods due to policies of the federal government.Demonstrations and riots have left over 40 fatalities in the unrest between both Chavistas and opposition protesters, and has led to the arrest of opposition leaders such as Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma.Human rights groups have strongly condemned the arrest of Leopoldo López.
Venezuela devalued its currency in February 2013 due to the rising shortages in the country, which included those of milk, flour, and other necessities. This led to an increase in malnutrition, especially among children. In 2014, Venezuela entered an economic recession. In 2015, Venezuela had the world’s highest inflation rate with the rate surpassing 100%, becoming the highest in the country’s history. In 2017, Donald Trump‘s administration imposed more economic sanctions on Venezuela. Economic problems, as well as crime and corruption, were some of the main causes of the 2014–present Venezuelan protests.
In January 2016, President Maduro decreed an “economic emergency” revealing the extent of the crisis and expanding his powers. In July 2016, Colombian border crossings were temporarily opened to allow Venezuelans to purchase food and basic household and health items in Colombia. In September 2016, a study published in the Spanish-language Diario Las Américas indicated that 15% of Venezuelans are eating “food waste discarded by commercial establishments”.
Close to 200 riots had occurred in Venezuelan prisons by October 2016, according to Una Ventana a la Libertad, an advocacy group for better prison conditions. The father of an inmate at Táchira Detention Center in Caracas alleged that his son was cannibalized by other inmates during a month-long riot, a claim corroborated by an anonymous police source but denied by the Minister of Correctional Affairs.
In 2017, Venezuela experienced a constitutional crisis in the country. In March 2017, opposition leaders branded President Nicolas Maduro a dictator after the Maduro-aligned Supreme Tribunal, which had been overturning most National Assembly decisions since the opposition took control of the body, took over the functions of the assembly, pushing a lengthy political standoff to new heights. However, the Supreme Court quickly backed down and reversed its decision on 1 April 2017. A month later, President Maduro announced the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election, 2017 and on 30 August 2017, the 2017 Constituent National Assembly was elected into office and quickly stripped the National Assembly of its powers.
In December 2017, President Maduro declared that leading opposition parties will be barred from taking part in next year’s presidential vote after they boycotted mayoral polls.
Maduro won the 2018 election with 67.8% of the vote. The result was challenged by countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Canada and the United States who deemed it fraudulent and moved to recognize Juan Guaidó as president. However international observers have countered this view  and other countries such as Cuba, China, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Uruguay and Iran came out in support of Maduro as President.
In January 2019 the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution “to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term as of the 10th of January of 2019.”
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