NEW YORK — Which country is the fastest-expanding in Latin America?
The answer is Venezuela, according to a new report from global real estate consultancy Reis Ventures.
The report, “The Next 500,” says the Venezuelan economy grew an annualized 6.2% in the past 12 months, which is almost twice as fast as that of Colombia.
Venezuela’s rapid growth has come as the country is facing rising tensions with the United States over its bloody civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The country’s economy has also been battered by economic sanctions, which have hurt the value of its currency, the bolivar.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions against the country, but the country’s government has said it will defend its sovereignty and that sanctions are a pretext for international aggression.
The United States has imposed its own sanctions on Venezuela in retaliation for the country violating a U.N. resolution to curb its nuclear program.
The number of Venezuelan refugees seeking refuge in the United State doubled from 4,800 in December to 15,000 in the first quarter of 2017.