“A failed state is one that cannot meet the most basic functions of government,” said Jean Paul Leidenz, an economist at Ecoanalítica, a Caracas-based analytical firm. “Venezuela now certainly has that characteristic.”

During a campaign stop in the eastern Guayana City on Wednesday, Maduro conceded his government “had made mistakes.” But he blamed the country’s crisis mostly on outside forces and domestic enemies and proclaimed this nation’s socialist revolution the foundation that would see Venezuela through to better days.

“Thanks to the social system created by the revolution, the people are protected and prepared,” he said. “We have a lot more to do, and that’s why we need victory.”