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When a nation takes the money of its citizens to fund the policies of a corrupt government, rioting grows inevitable. This is precisely what is unfolding in Venezuela, a country that has been in an economic recession since 2014, in which President Nicolas Maduro is desperately trying to maintain stability.

To make matters worse, the socialist government of Venezuela is riddled with corrupt politicians ignoring its suffering inhabitants. Originating with Hugo Chávez, the socialist country’s recession was the result of a failed government. However, instead of tackling the corruption plaguing the system, President Nicolas Maduro has passed laws detrimental to the lower class, preserving the cycle of corruption.

In May 2016, Maduro attempted to dispose of the 100-bolivar note, the smallest paper currency in Venezuela. Maduro hoped that abandoning the 100-bolivar would encourage citizens to use electronic transactions as well as decrease organized crime throughout the nation. Unfortunately, many Venezuelans have no access to banks and keep their savings in the form of paper bills— the most common of which are 100-bolivar notes. Maduro’s announcement induced civil unrest as citizens flocked to banks in fear of losing money with the discontinuation of the bill. A week after proposing the change, Maduro announced that the bills could remain in circulation until early January. As the January 2nd, 2017 deadline came and passed, Maduro pushed the date to February.

With a 370% inflation rate in the last year, 60% decrease in imports since 2014, and 40% decrease in oil exports in 2015, Venezuela is undoubtedly in the midst of a crisis. Although many factors have played into the nation’s decline, the economic failings were caused by former President Hugo Chávez. Although some positives rose out of almost 11 years in office, Chávez neglected the wellbeing of his citizens and did little to stop the rising crime rate in his country. From his inauguration in 2002 to his death in 2013, the rate of homicides in Venezuela increased by 400%; two citizens were murdered every hour towards the end of his term.

Under Chávez, crime and drug trafficking rates inflated, one of many problems President Maduro faces today. Maduro’s main incentive for abandoning the 100-bolivar was to help prevent violence and crime caused by the small bill. Maduro claims that illegal trade across the Colombian border caused the value of the 100-bolivar note to decrease, adding to the tremendous inflation in Venezuela. He also stated that the surge of deposits from citizens filled national banks with currency.

To make the situation worse, three planes carrying the newer, larger currencies were rerouted and unable to reach Venezuela. Maduro responded to the incident by claiming that the United States president at the time, Barack Obama, was to blame. He accused Obama and the U.S. government of starting a coup, similar to his allegations concerning lawmakers who attempted to impeach him. Though little has been released about the true cause of the rerouted planes, the incident prompted the most recent extension of the 100-bolivar note.

The large gap between the government and the people of Venezuela, which began under Chávez, grows increasingly evident. The end of the 100-bolivar note hurts an astonishing 40% of citizens, including every individual who doesn’t have a bank account. Even for citizens with accounts, the change is troublesome. Reports say that bank machines are still distributing the 100-bolivar notes, creating complications for those who have just deposited all their 100-bolivars, only to receive more.

Because the economy is rapidly decaying and inflation is skyrocketing, President Maduro cannot undo what Chávez started; he has shifted the blame elsewhere, rather than focusing on major internal problems.

The clear solution to the issue is to scrub the Venezuelan government clean of corruption, but this task is impossible under Maduro. While he may not be corrupt himself, he clearly does not have a strong stance against corruption. The country is in recession because of reduced imports and exports, yet Maduro insists that stability will come in bigger bank notes. While it is too soon to see the effects of his plans, it is unlikely that Maduro will be able to stabilize his nation. What Venezuela needs more than ever now is a new leader to construct a government that cares for its people more than it cares for itself.