Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Bonnie Van Ness

Relational Format



By studying academic research, I investigate the root causes of the crisis in Venezuela today. The research studied lays out the historical factors that have contributed to the crisis. Venezuelan politics and global politics play a role in the crisis in addition to economic factors. The situation in Venezuela has been developing for years but has gained more attention recently as the economic crisis has caused a humanitarian and political crisis as well. I chose this topic because I am interested in how colossal crises occur and I am interested in Spanish speaking countries because it is my minor. Specifically, I want to determine whether this crisis is mainly due to poor policy decisions, a drop in the price of oil, or a combination of the two. In an attempt to value Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-owned oil enterprise, I learned that a comparable analysis is not necessarily appropriate to value the company but I do gain insight into the inability of both PDVSA and the Venezuelan government to obtain debt. Because the crisis is ongoing and developments continue almost daily, the final part of this paper lays out the possibilities for the future of Venezuela. The sources used for analyzing the future of Venezuela are credible news agencies. The basic conclusion of my analysis is that the policies and practices of the Venezuelan government left its economy vulnerable to a decline in the price of oil and the decline in oil prices harmed the Venezuelan economy substantially, showing that it is a combination of policy and oil prices that contributed to the crisis in Venezuela today.

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