Venezuela’s socialist regime failure is the single largest economic collapse outside war in over four decades, beating the fall of the Soviet Union or Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe, economists say.
The country’s economy – once touted as an example of a working socialist system – turned into a basket case over the years amid corruption and mismanagement by the socialist government that relied on oil revenues to pay for expensive government programs and prop up other industries.
Following the collapse in oil prices, the government’s corruption and lack of competency became apparent, leading to an unprecedented economic collapse that caused a humanitarian crisis and put the country on the verge of a civil war.
“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and ex-chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told the New York Times. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”