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Business Insider: Guillermo Zubillaga on Venezuela's Food and Economic Crisis

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Guillermo Zubillaga, the head of AS/COA's Venezuela Working Group, spoke to Business Insider Today about the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

"The economic situation has gotten worse—the repression, extrajudicial killings, use of torture, the censoring of the press—all those things have gotten worse," he said. "The other thing of course is the deterioration of public services like electricity or water."

Due to Venezuelans moving away in large numbers, the fiscal standings of neighboring countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru have been compromised because they cannot sustain the size or rapid increase of the migration flow.

"The Venezuelan exodus is only second largest to Syria and it's projected to be even bigger," he said.

Zubillaga also stated that Venezuelans do not have access to cash and experience difficulty when procuring necessities.

"The average Venezuelan goes to a market, goes to a store and they see prices that they cannot afford," he said. "They see prices of a deodorant that is equivalent to their monthly minimum wage."

When asked why Juan Guaidó's opposition movement, which earlier this year inspired protests and calls to oust President Nicolás Maduro, lost momentum, Zubillaga explained that it is difficult for people to simultaneously protest and provide for themselves.

"It's really hard for a big portion of the population to maintain themselves in the streets, to stay in the streets, actively engaged in trying to find a political solution to a brutal dictatorship that has lately increased, and strategically, the numbers of extrajudicial killings."

Watch the full interview.