from Latin America's Moment

Rising Venezuela-Bound Remittances Help Families and the Maduro Regime

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds up a mock 100-bolivar bill depicting the president of the National Assembly Henry Ramos Allup, during a pro-government rally in Caracas, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Sadly, they also help keep the country’s repressive regime in power.

Originally published at Bloomberg

April 5, 2019

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds up a mock 100-bolivar bill depicting the president of the National Assembly Henry Ramos Allup, during a pro-government rally in Caracas, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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In late January the United States announced widespread sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned energy company PDVSA, ratcheting up pressure on the repressive regime of Nicolas Maduro in an attempt to force a democratic transition. Upon cutting off Venezuela’s primary source of hard currency, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton predicted the government’s downfall within a few weeks.

Three months later, Maduro still sits in Miraflores, the presidential palace. Even this most oil-dependent of governments has remained afloat, at least so far. In part its resilience comes from cutting spending on basic necessities for the population: Food, medicine, even electricity.

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But it also reflects the regime’s access to dollars through other means. Drug trafficking, illegal mining and other contraband also bring in billions in hard coin to the regime. And as sanctions increase the deprivation and desperation of Venezuela’s people, one of these growing streams will come from remittances, money sent home by Venezuelans who were already abroad, or who have swelled the recent tide of the more than 3 million who have fled, most of them in the last three years.

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More on:

Americas

Latin America

Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro

Immigration and Migration

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