A solid understanding of history and current events is an important trait for any preparedness-minded individual. By studying disasters around the world, we can improve our ability to face similar events in the future, should they affect us directly. With this in mind, there is much we can learn from the ongoing crisis in Venezuela — see our previous article for an overview of the country’s economic collapse, which has only worsened in the years since that article was published.

The short version is this: the situation in Venezuela is extremely grim. Unsurprisingly, this has led many Venezuelans to leave their home country in an attempt to avoid starvation, disease, and widespread violence. Roughly 3.4 million people — 10% of the country’s population — have already fled, according to current estimates.

National police forces using tear gas to disperse students and protesters on the streets of San Cristobal. Source:...

The following infographic from the Council on Foreign Relations shows the quantity and destinations of Venezuelan refugees. It was created based on data from the International Organization for Migrants, a division of the United Nations. You can download a full-size version of this graphic here.

You can learn more by reading the CFR’s analysis of the Venezuelan refugee crisis. The organization’s analysis concludes, “Following the Cuban example, the Maduro government is already encouraging migration as a way to diminish internal opposition — a trend likely to continue, if not escalate, in the months to come.”

For anyone who wishes to understand the anatomy of an economic collapse on a nation-wide scale, it’s wise to study the downturn of Venezuela. Don’t forget that the country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves — more than Saudi Arabia — and appeared relatively stable until the mid-2000s. While such events may be unlikely in the United States, we should never rule out the possibility or be caught unprepared for its effects.

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