John, Mauricia. “Venezuelan Economic Crisis: Crossing Latin American and Caribbean Borders.” Migration and Development (July 2018): 1-11.

This picture from 2016 demonstrating the effects of currency devaluation. The image is described by the caption ‘a manager places the bank notes received from customers during the day into a cardboard box.’ The multitude of cash bundles exemplify the increased currency needed to buy products that were once at a normal lower price range. (Image rights given to Manaure Quintero/Bloomberg News).

This article examines Venezuela’s recent economic crises and its social implications. Due to a deteriorating economic state, many Venezuelans are forced to flee to neighboring counties including Colombia and Brazil. The economy has rapidly collapsed because of factors including inefficient government policy, hyperinflation, poverty and increased crime. Price controls and changes in currency by the government have contributed to the rise of consumer prices by 800% while simultaneously the economy shrunk by nearly 20%. This means purchasing power has consistently been reduced so people are forced to have more currency to buy the same products as before, as seen by infamous lines of Venezuelans in stores with bundles of currency bills to pay for a single product in the media. Attention is emphasized on the migration process as well, including the justifications for migration towards neighboring states and the reception by those same states. Wide-spread migration from Venezuela has also modified the social tapestry with concurrent increases of human rights violations and human trafficking. Over two million people, and counting, have left Venezuela in search of financial stability, better living standards and as an escape from human rights violations under President Nicolas Maduro’s administration.

Credibility is assured in this article as it is supported by a plethora of sources, including articles from other journals. Professor Mauricia John, author of this article, teaches at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and holds a Master of Science in Development Economics alongside a PhD in Philosophy with emphasis in Sociology. Her emphasis in teaching has been focused on globalization and immigration and assimilation to name a few areas. Her intended audience for this article is for anyone aiming to further learn about the different socio-economic factors surrounding Venezuela’s highly televised, but less-known truth of why it has collapsed amidst former power security. John has effectively organized her information from three schools of thought on migration theory to her focus on Venezuela’s multi-dimensional social transformation. She demonstrates the economic and political reasons behind the unfolding instability in the region, alterations such as in living standards and demographics, the issue of human trafficking, and the results of migration into other countries.

While originally I believed this article to be solely focused on Venezuela’s migration problem, the article actually expanded into areas involving the background of Venezuela’s crisis and the political policy objectives that enabled its economic regression. Particular focus to migration has led to a solidified connection with economic statistics realizing the experiences of people who have turned into statistical numbers for social reports. With the help of articles like this, my focus on the economy of Venezuela has can be expanded with given versatility and relevance provided by economic consequences onto social and political sectors.

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