Nicolás Maduro to Begin Second Term as Venezuela Goes Into Meltdown

On Thursday Nicolás Maduro will be sworn in for a second term as president after his first term saw an exodus of Venezuelans escaping economic meltdown. The UN says more than 3m people have fled Venezuela since 2014, around 10 per cent of the population, while the IMF expects prices will rise a staggering 10m per cent in 2019, the Financial Times reported. “The best new year’s present Maduro could give us would be if he stood down now, before we cross this threshold on Thursday,” said Oscar Ospina, a worker on the dilapidated public transport system in Caracas, as he waited outside a state-subsidised supermarket in the Chacao neighbourhood. “He’s leading us into a dead end of isolation.” Mr Maduro will be confirmed for six more years following his victory in last May’s discredited election. If he completes his term he will extend the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s grip on power to a quarter of a century. Read more