José Manuel González has been in a battle to save the economy of Venezuela for the last three years. His mission to rid the government of excessive spending and political corruption started after Chavez died in 2013. Chavez spent billions of dollars on social programs, and he helped millions of Venezuelans get out of poverty and function as middle-class citizens. In the process of giving the people more educational opportunities and government programs, Chavez borrowed billions of dollars from countries around the globe. Venezuela is rich in oil reserves, so when crude was selling for more than $100 a barrel, Venezuela had good credit. But that good credit stopped when the bottom fell out of the oil market, and President Nicolas Maduro took over the socialist government. Maduro was handpicked by Chavez, and José Manuel González thinks that choice was a bad one for several reasons.
Although Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, the people of Venezuela are starving. There aren’t enough food, electricity or medical supplies, and gangs are fighting in the streets to claim what little there is of those commodities. José Manuel González is an agricultural entrepreneur, and he is also the Deputy of the National Assembly in the state of Guárico. González has watched the Maduro government enact policies that have turned the country into a nation filled with domestic issues. In meetings, González expressed his concerns about the Maduro government and José is now considered the opposition by the government. José accepts that title. He is pushing the petition to form a referendum to remove Maduro from office. Almost a million people have signed the petition, according to José, but four million signatures are needed to put the referendum in place.
Venezuela needs another government that is more democratic in nature, according to José Manuel González. The socialist government of Maduro isn’t working and according to the opposition, it will never work. Maduro, the former truck driver, turned politician, doesn’t understand what it takes to run a company, and that is why José Manuel González says government policy is too important to be left to politicians.