“Venezuela is in the grip of a major crisis. For the last month hundreds of thousands of protesters demonstrating against the government of President Nicolas Maduro have been met by riot police almost daily. At least 37 people have died in the fierce crackdown by security forces, according to the Associated Press, some 700 wounded and more than 1,000 arrested.
NBC News breaks down what led to the turmoil, what could come next, and why it matters to America.
Why are people protesting?
The economy is a mess.
Despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela is suffering from a deep recession and hyper-inflation. Prices rose by 800 percent in 2016, with the International Monetary Fund predicting inflation could hit 2,200 percent by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the economy shrunk by 18.6 last year, according to Reuters”