Report: 90 Percent of Venezuela’s Ground Transportation Doesn’t Work

Employers of public transportation block a main avenue in Caracas during a protest due to the shortage in Venezuela of spare parts for their vehicles Employers of public transportation block a main avenue in Caracas during a protest due to the shortage in Venezuela of spare parts for their vehicles …
AFP Photo/Juan Barreto

Around 90 percent of ground transportation in socialist Venezuela is broken or out of service, according to a report published Wednesday by the country’s National Federation of Communal Councils and Communes (Fenecomunal.)

According to the report, the high cost of repairs and spare parts is the main reason behind the issue, with local authorities having insufficient funds to pay for necessary maintenance.

The federation’s director, Italo Zapata, blamed socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro for the “serious situation,” that he believes is caused by a “lack of comprehensive policies establishing real and definitive solutions.”

The lack of transport services has led to many people being forced to hitch rides on the backs of trucks, vans, and other road vehicles so they can arrive at their destination.

Yet as noted by Zapata, the “unworthy and humiliating” transport method has led to a number of fatal accidents that the government has failed to act on, which they claim “violates the constitutional regulations that oblige it to respond to such circumstances.”

A report from the private security company Garda last November detailed how the “lack of sufficient public transportation has also fomented the development of a parallel black market transportation system, which is often more expensive than the remaining public transportation options.”

“Venezuela’s public transportation system and transportation infrastructure is expected to deteriorate further in the near term, resulting in major transportation disruptions, as increasingly high maintenance costs, rapid inflation, understaffing, and decreasing tax revenue and subsidies burden the system,” the analysis continued.

As well as the collapse of land transportation, Venezuela’s largest airports and airlines are also crumbling under the weight of the country’s economic crisis. Dozens of prominent airlines have canceled flights to Venezuela in recent years due to a fall in demand and security fears, as well as airport infrastructure that is rapidly deteriorating due to lack of maintenance.

Transport systems are just one of the many institutions that have collapsed in the aftermath of Hugo Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” Systems such as education, hospitals, and the crucial oil sector are all experiencing an exodus of staff and a crippling lack of resources.

As well as the collapse in public services, millions of Venezuelans are also now living in abject poverty as a result of hyperinflation that has rendered the country’s bolivar currency practically worthless. Despite numerous minimum wage hikes, the minimum monthly wage packet is still under two dollars ($2) a month in real terms, meaning most people cannot afford the necessary food, medicine, and other essential resources to live.

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