Venezuela: oil-rich but struggling to survive

May 05 | 2021

Venezuela is a country in crisis. Despite having the world’s largest known oil reserves the country has been wracked by a bitter power struggle between its socialist president Nicolás Maduro - elected in 2013 by just 1.6 percentage points – and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself acting president on 23 January 2019.

Holly Ana RinconThe resulting chaos and subsequent sanctions from the US saw a reduction in oil exports of 37.5% in 2020 to 626,534 bpd, the lowest for 77 years.

Crime and corruption in the country abound, leading to an estimated five million Venezuelan citizens – almost 20% of the population - fleeing to neighbouring countries. Those that remain are struggling to survive, with over 95% of people living in abject poverty, unable to feed themselves properly and trying to cope with an inflation rate so high it is almost impossible to calculate. During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the misery, with quarantine regulations, in common with many other countries, forcing people to remain indoors and those with jobs to work from home if they can. 

Running a business anywhere in the world during the pandemic has been tough for everyone and the restrictions on travel have made it particularly difficult for those in the moving business.  But for companies in Venezuela with the added problems described previously, the situation is infinitely worse. 

Holly Ana Rincon, Vice President of Clover Systems, which operates one of Venezuela’s longest established moving and logistics companies, gave us this insight into the challenges of running the business during these turbulent times ...

Photo: Holly Ana Rincon.

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