In early 2013, Venezuela devalued its currency due to growing shortages in the country. The shortages included, and still include, necessities such as toilet paper, milk, and flour. Fears rose so high due to the toilet paper shortage that the government occupied a toilet paper factory, and continued further plans to nationalize other industrial aspects like food distribution. Venezuela’s bond ratings have also decreased multiple times in 2013 due to decisions by the president Nicolás Maduro. One of his decisions was to force stores and their warehouses to sell all of their products, which led to even more shortages in the future. In 2016, consumer prices in Venezuela increased 800% and the economy declined by 18.6%, entering an economic depression. Venezuela’s outlook was deemed negative by most bond-rating services in 2017. For 2018 an inflation rate of 1,000,000 percent was projected, putting Venezuela in a similar situation to that in Germany in 1923 or Zimbabwe in the late 2000s.
Venezuela has a limited national railway system, which has no active rail connections to other countries. The government of Hugo Chávez tried to invest in expanding it, but Venezuela’s rail project is on hold due to Venezuela not being able to pay the $7.5 billion and owing China Railway nearly $500 million. Several major cities have metro systems; the Caracas Metro has been operating since 1983. The Maracaibo Metro and Valencia Metro were opened more recently. Venezuela has a road network of nearly 100,000 kilometers (62,000 mi) in length, placing the country around 45th in the world; around a third of roads are paved.
Flag of Venezuela:
The current eight stars flag of Venezuela was introduced in 2006. The basic design includes a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red, dating to the original flag introduced in 1811, in the Venezuelan War of Independence.
Further modifications have involved including a set of stars, multiple changes to the placement and number of stars and inclusion of an optional coat of arms at the upper-left corner. Along with Afghanistan, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador and Haiti it is one of only eight national flags in the world which has a depiction of its flag within the flag itself.
The flag is essentially the one designed by Francisco de Miranda for his unsuccessful 1806 expedition to liberate Venezuela and later adopted by the National Congress of 1811. It consisted of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow, blue and red. Miranda’s flag is also the inspiration for the flags of Colombia and Ecuador. The flag of the short-lived Republic of Spanish Haiti was also based on Miranda’s tricolor and resembles the current Venezuelan flag. This original design was first flown on March 12, 1806, at Jacmel, Haiti, as Miranda’s expedition prepared to make the final leg of its voyage to Venezuela. The flag was first flown over Venezuelan soil at La Vela de Coro, on August 3. Until August 3, 2006, Flag Day was celebrated in Venezuela on March 12. Since 2006 it has been celebrated on August 3.