By James Blears
Venezuela is a country of acute shortages, long queues, widespread hunger and an annual inflation rate of fourteen thousand percent. Thousands are leaving each and every day in the hope of a better life....elsewhere, or anywhere.
Those who stay have the chance to vote in Sunday's Presidential Election.
The two main choices are incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, who's trying to continue the Bolivian Revolution of Hugo Chavez, or Henri Falcon, who used to belong to the ruling Socialist Party, but became disillusioned and alienated.
The main oppostion Democratic Unity Coalition are boycotting the Election, which will dent its credibility, but inevitably strengthen President Maduro's hand.
His supporters say Venezuela is being squeezed by the United States and other foreign interests who want a coup. It's highly unlikely Washington will recognize the result of this election.
Its result already appears to be a forgone conclusión.