hugo chavez

AP Photo

When you think of humanitarian crises, they’re usually caused by war or some natural disaster like a drought or earthquake.

But in Venezuela today millions of people face shortages of food and medicines for a different reason: the spectacular mismanagement of its economy.

By one estimate, Venezuelans spend an average of 35 hours a month standing in lines to buy food. All of this has led to huge protests against President Nicolás Maduro’s government and an effort by the opposition to recall him from office. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the escalating crisis in Venezuela. 

Fernando Llano / AP

Venezuela is a country that should, by all accounts, be doing quite well. It’s one of the top oil-producing countries in the world.

But the South American nation also has one of the highest murder rates in the world, a government whose officials are accused of selling drugs, and millions living below the poverty line. Not only that, the country's economy is crumbling, and the government is notorious for clamping down on journalists who challenge it on these issues.

Franklin Reyes / AP Images

World leaders from five continents gathered in Caracas on Friday to pay their last respects for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan leader held the country's presidency from 1999 until his death earlier this week.