Venezuela will hold regional elections for the governors of 23 states, as well as new state legislators on October 15, 2017. The opposition, largely united under the Democratic Unity Roundtable [Mesa de la Unidad Democrática] (MUD), has accused the government of attempting to skew the regional elections in favor of President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela [Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela] (PSUV). Not only does the outcome of this vote appear uncertain, but so too does the future of Venezuela.
In the grips of economic crisis. The end of the commodities boom, caused in part by the drop in international oil prices in late 2014, coupled with runaway inflation, expanding state control of the economy, inadequate social planning, corruption, and mismanagement among government officials and the military has left Venezuela in shambles. As political and social unrest and associated violence escalate, the health system continues to deteriorate. Inflation is soaring to previously unimaginable heights. Food scarcity continues to grow, and institutions are failing to provide basic services and commodities, which has caused many Venezuelans to flee to surrounding countries.