Venezuela in crosshairs of u.s. after maduro wins shunned election – bloomberg electricity and magnetism worksheets 5th grade

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He has promised an “economic revolution.” But his Petro cryptocurrency, created to skirt sanctions, flopped and he has resorted to a plan to lop three zeroes off the embattled bolivar currency. Billions of dollars in debt payments are coming due and creditors like ConocoPhillips are seizing the assets of the state oil company. Hyperinflation could accelerate to 13,000 percent this year, and the International Monetary Fund forecast a 15 percent economic contraction.

“This is a speeding train that is headed straight toward disaster; there is no plan that the government appears to have at the moment that could fix it,” said Phil Gunson, a Caracas-based analyst at the International Crisis group. In Arrears

For years, the nation honored its debts, shelling out hard currency to bondholders even as store shelves went empty and hospitals lacked medicines. But since November, Venezuela has skipped payment deadlines on nearly $4 billion in bonds, raising concern among creditors about the $65 billion outstanding from the nation and its state-run entities. Sanctions prohibit Americans from receiving new bonds in a restructuring.

Still, Maduro has ignored calls to change course. Regional diplomatic initiatives to broker peace among warring political factions broke down as the regime only continued to consolidate power — and to play nicely with the U.S. would betray the so-called Bolivarian revolution.

But the government brushed aside the legislative and judicial branches, jailed opponents and drove others into exile. Over the past two years, the regime blocked a recall referendum; threatened to prosecute opposition supreme court nominees; and installed a legislative superbody to bypass the opposition-led national assembly. Then, came Sunday’s defiant vote. Vulnerable Venezuela

Elsa Cardozo, a political analyst and columnist at Caracas daily El Nacional, said that despite the provocation, foreign governments are hesitant to harm a state on the cusp of failure. Thousands are already fleeing Venezuela, stoking fears of a full-blown regional crisis.

The government also could cement its grip over a pauper nation and go it alone. The all-powerful constitutional assembly is rewriting the nation’s charter. It has already accelerated national assembly elections in attempt to gain control of the only opposition-controlled institution. Failing Flow

But while Maduro has quashed his foes, he has struggled to revive the oil industry. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, daily output fell to 1.5 million barrels in March from a peak of 3.7 million in 1970. And even if sanctions arrive slowly, private companies and investors are already closing in.

ConocoPhillips this month began seizing assets of state oil company PDVSA to fulfill a $2 billion arbitration ruling. Francisco Monaldi, an expert on Latin American energy at Rice University in Houston, said the takeovers are just a “rehearsal” as investors try to recover on defaulted bonds.

Maduro blames the nation’s woes on a “financial blockade” and sabotage by business leaders and political opponents. This month, the government took control of Banesco Banco Universal, Venezuela’s largest privately held financial institution, and arrested its board. Authorities accused the bank of facilitating or hiding “attacks against the currency.” Better to Rule

That control is increasingly dependent on the army, rather than voters. As the crisis deepened, Maduro doled out some of the most lucrative sectors of the economy to the military. Soldiers have replaced bureaucrats at top posts of PDVSA, and the armed forces oversee the entire food supply.

But soldiers are joining the growing exodus fleeing the economic collapse. Maduro’s standing inside and outside the barracks will be crucial if conditions only continue to get worse. Influential policy makers have already advocated regime change by undemocratic means.

“The world would support the Armed Forces in Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter in February.