Nearly two decades of socialism has left oil-rich Venezuela in an unparalleled crisis.
Recent figures show that a majority of Venezuelans go to bed hungry and 15 percent of people eat garbage to survive. The country desperately lacks basic resources, such as medicine and power.
Mass protests and riots are now breaking out across the country, as dictator Nicolas Maduro attempts to discard the Venezuelan constitution to tighten his grip on power.
However, Venezuela’s problems date back to 1999, with the election of socialist president Hugo Chávez, whose mass redistribution of wealth and financial mismanagement laid the groundwork for the country’s economic collapse.
Like his successor, Chávez was an authoritarian who clamped down on press freedom and regularly locked up his opponents. His government also funded gangs known as colectivos, tasked with intimidating poor communities into supporting him, while distributing pro-government propaganda across the country.