Hugo Chavez' Bolivarian Revolution had leveraged Venezuela's enormous oil wealth by selling oil cheaply to Caribbean neighbors, and heavily subsidizing consumer goods for the masses at home.
But recently, the Venezuelan economy has not been performing. At the time of Chavez' death last March, it was predicted that the country would have to devalue its currency, cut back on subsidies, and back off from many of the policies that had won the loyalty of lower-income Venezuelans and the disdain of wealthier citizens.
Many airline carriers have suspended their flights to Caracas, and others won't accept payment for tickets in the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar.
Nicolas Maduro, a vice president who had gradually taken power during Chavez' long battle with cancer, was elected in his own right after Chavez died. Now, after less than a year in charge, Maduro is facing rising opposition from his people. In recent weeks the conflict has turned more violent and deadly.
What’s the context of this conflict?
Who are the rising opposition?
And should the U.S. play a role in the Venezuelan solution?
We consulted a panel of experts for the Inside Story.