President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said on behalf of the EU that Venezuela’s democracy is “in danger“ after the country has been struck by a deep political and economic crisis as a result of plummeting crude prices for Venezuelan oil exports, which account for about 96 percent of the country’s revenues.
Venezuelans are witnessing their country plunging into a hyperinflation, empty supermarket shelves, collapsing health care system, soaring crime rates and power shortages so severe that government offices are now open only two days a week. “The economy has gone from bad to worse to horrific,” said Jason Marczak, Director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
The European Union also thinks that the situation in Venezuela is very dramatic and worrisome. “In Venezuela, we see a majority of the population suffering and a country with so much wealth having a population that fights each day for its survival,” Mr Schulz said during his official visit in Bogota, Colombia. Mr Schulz also touch-based on the credibility of Nikolas Maduro’s government and the health of democracy in the country when he pointed out that “Its [the government‘s] abilities depend on its legitimacy. However, the last general elections showed that a large majority of the population disagrees with what the government is doing. The government should be reacting accordingly.”
Admitting that the EU was “extremely concerned, ”Mr Schulz then concluded that “democracy is in danger in Venezuela” and urged all parties to “keep all avenues open for a national dialogue“. The EU is Venezuela’s fourth biggest trading partner and, in their mutual relations, the bloc focuses on the support of the modernization and decentralization of the state and its institutions as well as on the diversification of the Venezuelan economy and its sustainable growth.