Dr. Dan Hellinger, who authors Caracas Connect, the Center for Democracy in the Americas’ periodic report on Venezuela, is quoted in the article “Venezuelans in Tampa Bay hope Floridians show interest in homeland’s plight,” by.
The full article appears in Tampa Bay Times, and can be accessed here. For a brief excerpt, see below.
The economy collapsed because of poor planning, said Daniel Hellinger, a South American policy advisor with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Democracy in the Americas.
The Venezuelan government failed to invest oil profits into a sovereign fund to sustain the economy against fluctuations in the price per barrel. Nor did it put enough money back into its own oil industry, and it now must rely on investment from foreign partners who take a slice of the earnings.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro succeeded the late Hugo Chavez, founder of the country’s modern socialist movement, and denies the severity of the problem while deflecting blame.
Maduro tells his people his political opposition is waging an economic war, hoarding supplies and cutting production to create shortages and turn citizens against him.