In addition to hunger, Venezuela now suffers from triple-digit inflation and has the second highest murder rate in the world.
So many murders go unsolved that people have turned to lynch mobs to seek justice. Angry mobs not only kill murderers and rapists, but increasingly attack petty criminals too, with police often turning a blind eye.
Even the Venezuelans who once voted for socialism, believing it would provide them with subsidized food, cheap housing, labor protection, and free education, are now fleeing the country.
One of them, Edgar Leon, now stands on a street corner in the Dominican Republic selling snacks and lemonade out of a bucket to support his wife and children back home.
Speaking of his home country, he says, “We were a rich nation. I never wanted to leave my country. I can’t go back there, not how it is now. It’s a disaster.”
Leon has no plans to return to Venezuela. He hopes instead to be able to afford a larger apartment so he can bring his family to live with him in the Dominican Republic.