Venezuela is an emerging one-party state on the northeast coast of South America. The dictator, Nicolás Maduro, the heir of Hugo Chávez, who was democratically elected, has banned most opposition parties. The last election is scheduled for May 2018. Henri Falcón, who broke with Chávez earlier. is the leading opposition candidate. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country which, despite massive oil resources, is being badly mismanaged. There is widespread hunger. Private ownership of guns was banned in 2012 and a program of gun confiscation was initiated.