Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets this week to protest against the repressive regime of President Nicolas Maduro, the unpopular successor to the flamboyant Hugo Chavez. Three people died in this round of protests and hundreds were arrested. Venezuela has been in a recession for three years, its economy shrinking by 18% last year alone. Inflation is expected to skyrocket to 720% this year, eroding what little savings citizens had left. An acute shortage of medical supplies and, increasingly, of doctors - they flee to greener pastures - has devastated the country in which patients wait months for life-saving medical procedures. Crime has increased rapidly as the economy worsened, and a picture of stacked, unrefrigerated bodies in a Caracas morgue made world headlines last year. How could things get so bad in a country with one of the world's largest known oil reserves? And what can South Africa learn from Venezuela's mistakes? There are several answers. But the ...

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