Venezuela's Reversal of Fortune
Two places - a nature preserve and the oil industry's hub - symbolized Venezuela's strength. Now they epitomize its implosion. Long before the socialist and kleptocratic catastrophe, this Latin American powerhouse brought in $1 billion a year in tourism and its oil wells fueled a potent economy. Those two sectors of the economy are now hollowed out. The once gorgeous landscapes surrounding Angel Falls are now bring ripped apart in a chaotic search for gold and diamonds. Maracaibo, a proud and prosperous oil city, has been reduced to a dilapidated shell of desperation. The surrounding areas are contaminated by the failure of the oil sector's infrastructure. Chronic unemployment, no electricity, jobs or hope have send hundreds of thousands abroad. These are some photographs of these twin catastrophes made during multiple trips in 2019.