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And Now the Hard Part

How to Repair Venezuela’s Shattered Economy

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A Venezuelan opposition activist is pictured.
A Venezuelan opposition activist is pictured.
A Venezuelan opposition activist is pictured during a demonstration against President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas on April 24, 2017. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Brookings scholar Dany Bahar on how the crisis unfolded and what to do about it.

Venezuela was once the envy of Latin America, an oil-rich country whose people enjoyed both democracy and prosperity. But in recent years, it has become the region’s basket case, with a repressive government, soaring hyperinflation, a 60 percent drop in GDP, and deadly shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials.

This week on And Now the Hard Part, we trace the roots of the problem and talk about how to fix it.

“Venezuela is probably home right now to the largest humanitarian crisis that this hemisphere has seen, perhaps the world, in modern history,” said Dany Bahar, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“This is a man-made crisis. It was manufactured by those in power for the past 20 years as a result of many things including, perhaps, [Venezuela] being one of the most distorted economies in the world.”

Listen to the episode on this page or subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts.

About And Now the Hard Part:  The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.  See All Episodes

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More And Now the Hard Part episodes:

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

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To learn more about creating a podcast with us, contact Andrew Sollinger at andrew.sollinger@foreignpolicy.com.

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