Nicolas Maduro AFP

Venezuela's economy grew by over 5% in 2023, and President Nicolas Maduro believes it will have an 8% growth this year.

In his annual address to the government-allied legislature on Monday, the president said the country's economy suffered a prolonged meltdown as Venezuela dealt with triple-digit inflation and witnessed many people migrate to other countries to seek better opportunities.

According to the central bank, the country's inflation reached 190% last year, while in 2022, the inflation rate was at 234%.

"In 2024 we will continue the policy of stoking national production, of recovering national income, of recovering income for workers," the president told lawmakers, as per Reuters. "For this year we project a gross domestic product growth of around 8%."

Maduro assured that the inflation will be two digits this year, adding that state oil company PDVSA contributed $6.23 billion to Vanezuela's coffers in 2023. He pointed out that this amount helped pay the salaries of several departments, including those in health care, education and housing.

In October 2023, the United States resumed its deportation flights of Venezuelans, bringing back roughly 130 passengers to their homeland.

"I am glad that today, in compliance with the agreements discussed and signed between the authorities of Venezuela and the government of the United States, the first group of Venezuelans who have been repatriated have returned," Maduro said at the time.

Rachel Leon, an immigration attorney in Florida, explained that migrants who apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) can avoid facing deportation.

"Venezuelans who have not applied for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) and have deportation orders could be affected," she said. "Those who are eligible for TPS should apply as soon as possible to avoid facing deportation."

Venezuela is faced with a variety of issues, including hyperinflation, a crumbling health care system and a shortage of basic goods. Because of this, many citizens are migrating to countries like the United States via the Mexico border.

Apart from this, Venezuela has also been making headlines for the escalating tension between it and its neighboring country, Guyana, over the Essequibo region. Venezuela has claimed the territory and some offshore areas in recent years after Guyana discovered oil and gas in the region.

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