This Monday, March 5th, marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Hugo Chávez, and the Venezuela he left is unrecognizable, with an economy in collapse, never-ending political tension and growing poverty that has led millions to flee the country.
Even several prominent officials of Chávez’s almost 14-year government are no longer on board or are being persecuted by Maduro’s justice system, such as former Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz and the so-called oil czar, Rafael Ramirez.
What remains unchanged is the defiant discourse against the United States of the Chavez leadership. From the famous “smell of sulfur”, pronounced by Chavez in a speech at the United Nations against George W. Bush, Maduro went on to denounce as “supremacist” the administration of Donald Trump, who warned him that his patience is ending.
Chavez died as a result of cancer, according to the announcement made public by the then Vice President and now President Nicolas Maduro. The commander could not assume a third mandate.
At the time, Maduro said he had proof that the cancer was implanted via sophisticated technology by the CIA.
The year of his death, 2013, was precisely the last year in which the economy recorded a growth rate, while inflation began to take off, with a record of 56 percent.
The economy completed four years in decline in 2017 and inflation climbed up to 2,600 percent, according to calculations of the National Assembly (Congress), while part of the external debt is in selective default.