Under Maduro, nearly all Venezuelans live in poverty

The illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro has thrust 96 percent of Venezuelans into poverty, a new study found.

The 2019–2020 National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI, for Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida) — published by researchers at Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas — shows that poverty levels in Venezuela spiked during 2019, officially rendering it the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In 2019, the average income in Venezuela was 72 U.S. cents per day. Based purely on income, the report says, 96 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty and 70 percent live in extreme poverty.

“ENCOVI’s results are the sad reflection of the reality of Venezuela’s people,” said legitimate interim President Juan Guaidó. “They are not isolated numbers, nor cold numbers, but the reflection of what we Venezuelans are suffering at this moment.”

Man sitting amid trash and garbage (© Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
A man waits to get some food at a garbage dump in Las Minas de Baruta in Caracas. (© Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

The study also calculated multidimensional poverty by looking at several other factors in addition to income, such as access to education and public services. By those measures, 64.8 percent of households in Venezuela live in poverty. In 2018, the report says, those numbers were 13 percent lower, illustrating how much further Maduro has sunk the Venezuelan economy in the past year.

“Venezuela has moved considerably away from its South American peers, approaching the situation that some countries on the African continent have,” the report says.

Only 3 percent of households in Venezuela are considered food secure, compared to 10 percent of households in 2018, according to the report. That means 97 percent of Venezuelans are unsure of where their next meal will come from or when it will arrive.