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Swamped in Inflation, Venezuela Will Cut Five Zeros from Currency

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Swamped in Inflation, Venezuela Will Cut Five Zeros from Currency

 

FILE -- People wait to purchase government-subsidized food at a state-run supermarket, in Caracas, Venezuela, May 15, 2018. Slashing zeros from Venezuela’s inflation-cursed currency, the bolívar, is the tent-pole of a set of economic changes by President Nicolás Maduro as he tries to right his country’s capsized economy. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times)

MEDELLÍN, Colombia — Faced with nearly incomprehensible inflation — 32,714 percent as of Wednesday — Venezuelan officials thought they had a solution: They changed the color of the bank notes and increased their denomination. Then they said they would lop off three zeros. And when that didn’t seem enough, they announced they would cut off two more.

The tactics have left Venezuelans like Yosmar Nowak, the owner of a coffee shop in Caracas, convinced that there is no solution in sight and that the government cannot even bring down the price of a cup of coffee, an eye-watering 2 million bolivars.

“I imagine if we keep like this we’re going to have to do the same thing in December,” said Nowak, who has been forced to raise prices in her cafe at least 40 times this year.

Slashing zeros from Venezuela’s inflation-cursed currency, the bolivar, is the tent-pole of a set of economic changes by President Nicolás Maduro as he tries to right his country’s capsized economy. The five-digit inflation has earned Venezuela comparisons to the hyperinflation of Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany from the International Monetary Fund.

The newly minted currency, which will be known as the “sovereign bolívar,” will be rolled out Monday. In addition, the president has ordered measures his United Socialist Party has been loath to consider in the past: An increase in gas prices for some drivers and a modest ease in the currency controls that have made dollars inaccessible to most Venezuelans for years.

Yet these changes haven’t been enough to convince economists, who see desperation in Maduro’s latest moves and view the new currency as another chapter in the decades of mismanagement that have destroyed the Venezuelan economy.

“It’s a cosmetic thing that’s happening, the zeros,” said Steve Hanke, an applied economics professor at Johns Hopkins University who has advised governments facing hyperinflation. “It means nothing unless you change economic policy.”

By removing the zeros, Maduro is looking to solve what economists call hyperinflation’s “wheelbarrow problem” — the point when the currency has become so worthless that a wheelbarrow of cash is necessary to make purchases.

The new currency, which will be phased in as the old one is phased out, would bring the price of that cup of coffee at Nowak’s shop down to the more manageable sum of 20 sovereign bolivars. But few think that price will hold for long.

“We’re expecting an increase in more than 1,000 percent for the minimum wage, and of course, more inflation,” Nowak said. The tumult is so great, she said, “we’re not going to open Monday.”

The problem isn’t to do with the zeros, but rather what’s causing them to appear. The Venezuelan government depends on sales from its state oil company to pay its debts. But mismanagement allowed production to sink to 1.2 million barrels a day in July — on par with the monthly rate in 1947.

Faced with this shortage, the government turns to the Central Bank to order more money printed. While that may pay the government’s bills in the short term, it comes at the expense of everyone who owns bolívares, as the surplus of printed cash makes existing money increasingly worthless.

And paying bills is only one of Maduro’s concerns.

On Aug. 4, two drones exploded over a military parade Maduro was attending, in what the government said was an assassination attempt. And the president faces increasing economic isolation after he was declared the winner of an election to extend his term to 2025, a vote widely regarded as rigged.

Amid this chaos, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the country, finding daily life impossible in a country where grocery stores are empty and hospitals face water shortages, even in Caracas, the capital.

The rollout of the currency has also been troubled, too. At first, the government said it would remove three zeros from the bills. But on July 25, with the dollar trading for nearly 3.5 million bolivars on the black market and continuing to lose value, the government said it would lop off five instead.

The bolivar has only continued to lose value in the time since, with the dollar now approaching 6 million bolivars.

While the changes mean prices that are less astronomical, they also create another problem for Venezuelans: Dividing by the unwieldy number 100,000. Economists say devaluations are usually done in increments of tens, thousands or millions to facilitate the math.

“I am confused,” said Edwin García, a construction worker in Caracas who tried to calculate what his earnings would be.

Many stores in the capital now simply quote prices in dollars to avoid confusion.

It’s also unclear what backs the new currency, if anything at all.

Troubled currencies are usually stabilized with a pledge from the government that they may be exchanged for a stronger one, like dollars or euros. Maduro, by contrast, has said the new bolivar will be backed by the petro, a cryptocurrency his government rolled out in February.

And the petro itself, he said, is backed by oil reserves — a claim economists find troubling, given that much of the country’s oil production is earmarked to pay off debt to China and Russia.

“You’re pegging a currency to a toxic asset which no one wants,” said Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez, a political columnist for the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional who teaches at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Maduro’s plan to raise gas prices has also been met with skepticism.

Venezuelans currently pay a fraction of a cent to fill up their tanks — the lowest price in the world. Maduro has pledged to continue subsidizing fuel for those who sign up for a government identification card and register their cars with the government, but he wants Venezuelans who don’t sign up to start paying the going international price.

“It allows you to target the subsidy to those willing to buy into the system,” said Lansberg-Rodríguez. “It’s a bid for loyalty.” In gas stations in Caracas, there were more doubts about the plan. Alejandro Bolívar, a station supervisor in the suburb of El Hatillo, said no one from the government had come to reset the machines to the new currency or to explain when they would need to start verifying if buyers had government ID cards.

For its part, the Venezuelan government claims inflation has been caused by an “economic war” waged by the United States and business people who oppose it.

But economists said that if Venezuela is to curb hyperinflation, it will have to stop printing money.

Hanke, the Johns Hopkins economist, recalls a similar situation in Yugoslavia, which he advised until 1991. Though Hanke objected to its currency changes, the country pushed ahead in 1990, removing four zeros from its bills. Its succeeding government removed another zero in 1992. In October 1993 it removed six zeros, in December nine more, and then at the start of 1994 another seven.

With hyperinflation running at 313 million percent per month, the mint couldn’t keep up.

And that country, Hanke noted, had a world-class mint. Maduro has no working mint, and must import bank notes.

“It’s an impossible situation,” said Hanke.

 

https://www.wral.com/swamped-in-inflation-venezuela-will-cut-five-zeros-from-currency/17774600/

 

 
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How long before one of those dumb gurus state that this is what Iraq is gonna do. It's not even close...totally different circumstance.

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Ah YES good ole Socialism. Just what the frigging left wants to bring to our doorstep, because it is such a Good system!!! Equal Misery for everyone except the ones in power. Another of Trump's S---Hole countries. Right on the mark!!

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Venezuela is indeed in a terrible economic situation.....Which adds up to the endemic huge crime rate (worse than Brazil...which is very telling).......

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VENEZUELANS ARE LOSING A LOT OF WEIGHT AMID MONEY CRISIS

BY ROBERT VALENCIA ON 2/22/18 AT 4:30 PM
 
 
 
Advertisement 0:09
 
 
 
 

Venezuelans, who once enjoyed South America’s most prosperous economy, are feeling the effects of food shortages and a crippled economy.

A study released Wednesday found that Venezuelans had lost an average of 11 kilograms, or 24 pounds, in body weight last year, and 90 percent of them live under poverty—up from 48 percent in 2014 and 82 percent in 2016. The three Venezuelan universities that published the report revealed that 60 percent of the people surveyed said they had woken up hungry in the past three months because they didn’t have money to purchase food. Nearly a quarter of the population was eating two or fewer meals per day, the study reported. 

 

VenezuelaFoodPeople shout slogans during a protest against the shortage of food, amid Fuerzas Armadas avenue in Caracas on December 28, 2017.FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Venezuelans have lost more weight compared to 2016, when they reported a loss of about 18 pounds, according to the annual study. For this year's survey, a dozen researchers surveyed 6,168 Venezuelans between the ages of 20 and 65. Roughly 30 million people call Venezuela home.  

 

The report highlighted that the population relies on a diet that lacks vitamins and protein. The limited food options are the result of skyrocketing hyperinflation—which soared over 440,000 percent last month—that makes it difficult for Venezuelans to make ends meet. Currency control also prohibits food imports and has fueled long lines at stores to get basic products like flour. 

“Income is getting pulverized,” Maria Ponce, one of the study’s investigators, said during a press conference at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, according to Reuters. “This disparity between the rise in prices and the population’s salaries is so generalized that there is practically not a single Venezuelan who is not poor,” she added.

The study is considered one of the most comprehensive assessments on Venezuela’s well-being. The Venezuelan government has not released data on poverty since the first half of 2015, when the national statistics institute found that poverty rate stood at 33 percent, Reuters reported.

 

 
 

Hunger in Venezuela has taken a toll on its citizens’ productivity. Employees who can’t afford to buy food are growing too weak to perform heavy toil in the country's crucial economic sectors like oil production. A union leader from Petróleos de Venezuela, a state-owned company, told Bloomberg that 12 malnourished workers in the state of Zulia collapsed in November and December and they had to undergo treatment after being taken off drilling platforms. Another union leader from the same company has received complaints from famished workers in the city of Puerto La Cruz passing out on the job, the publication reported.

 

Venezuela-food-011218A woman walks between the empty shelves of a supermarket in Caracas on January 11.JUAN BARRETO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ever since then-President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, Venezuela has relied on oil-sponsored social programs, but failed state-driven policies and plummeting global oil prices have pushed Venezuelans to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

Venezuela’s economic woes worsened due to a deep recession since President Nicolás Maduro assumed power in 2013. In 2015, Maduro announced he would implement 20,000 fingerprint scanners at supermarkets in an attempt to ration food. He said at one point that Venezuelans’ habit of eating “three or four times a day” led to a shortage of toilet paper five years ago.  

Venezuelans are fleeing the country in search of food and jobs. Since 2017, more than 500,000 of them have crossed the Venezuela-Colombia border—a crisis similar to the 600,000 Syrian refugees in Germany or the 700,000 Rohingya who escaped to Bangladesh from Myanmar—and the influx is growing in neighboring countries like Guyana and Brazil. 

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Fleeing Venezuelans face suspicion and hostility as migration crisis worsens

 

Ecuadorian border town struggling to cope with exodus driven by economic collapse and political turmoil

 

Tom Phillips in Tulcán

Sun 19 Aug 2018 12.45 BST

 

 

3500.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=2201db3758eebd140a17ded2144de766
Venezuelans queue to register their exit from Colombia before entering into Ecuador at Rumichaca Bridge
Photograph: Reuters
 
 
 
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Venezuela prepares to devalue currency, amid fears it may worsen economic crisis

 

Caracas to shear five zeros from the bolívar, which will be pegged to new cryptocurrency

 

 

Associated Press in Caracas

Mon 20 Aug 2018 12.58 BST

 

 

 

 

3500.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=606ace3e90ff76fc828bac6eb633a4f9
A street market in Caracas. The IMF has predicted that hyperinflation may reach 1m% this year
Photograph: Marco Bello/Reuters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Venezuela's plan to fight runaway inflation lacks key ingredients

 

Nicolás Maduro’s emergency package to tackle the problem looks doomed to fail

 

 

Mon 20 Aug 2018 15.19 BST Last modified on Mon 20 Aug 2018 15.43 BST

By  Larry Elliott
 
 
 
 
4924.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=31e275122d6753afac3c1317e17724f0
The International Monetary Fund predicts that inflation in Venezuela will hit 1,000,000% by the end of the year
Photograph: Miguel Gutierrez/EPA

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/20/venezuela-plan-to-fight-runaway-inflation-lacks-key-ingredients

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Venezuela cancels 5 zeros from its currency

09:24 - 20/08/2018
0
    
5b7a4b0395a597767e8b4619-696x392.jpg

Information / Baghdad ...

Venezuela has launched a new currency linked to its virtual currency "Petro" as part of a series of reforms announced by President Nicolas Maduro, where the new currency will enter the markets as of Monday.

The new currency, dubbed the sovereign Bolivar, will be linked to the "petro" virtual currency, and the price of the "petro" will be about $ 60 based on the price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil equivalent to the new currency of 3,600 Bolivar sovereigns, indicating a significant devaluation.

Maduro recently announced that the country needed to implement a "fiscal discipline" system and to stop printing money too much in recent years.

Maduro's new economic reforms include raising the minimum wage to half a petro (1800 Bolivar sovereign).

This amount is about $ 28, which means a 34-fold increase from the previous minimum wage, which was equivalent to less than $ 1 per black market price.

In parallel, the three main parties of the Venezuelan opposition on Saturday called for a general strike from Tuesday to protest against the reforms.

http://www.almaalomah.com/2018/08/20/336744/

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14m bolivars for a chicken: Venezuela hyperinflation explained

 

As South American country faces soaraway prices, what is hyperinflation and why is it bad for the economy?

 

Richard Partington Economics correspondent

Mon 20 Aug 2018 14.57 BST

 

 

3500.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=e516b40a42b22a4a554bd388e0d1349f
A 2.4 kg chicken currently costs 14,600,000 bolivars in Venezuela, the equivalent of $2.22 USD
Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
 
 
 
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Venezuela Slashes 5 Zeros From Currency In "One Of Greatest Devaluations Ever"

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
Mon, 08/20/2018 - 14:30

As previewed yesterday, on Monday Venezuela officially slashed five zeros from prices and its currency as part of what has been dubbed one of the greatest currency devaluations in history which slashed the value of the official bolivar by 95%, an overhaul that President Nicolas Maduro said would tame hyperinflation, and which everyone else called the latest desperate failed socialist policy that will push the chaotic country deeper into crisis and unleash even higher hyperinflation (impossible as that may sound: as a reminder the collapse of Venezuela's currency recently surpassed the Weimar republic).

 
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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro ordered a 96% currency devaluation, pegged the bolivar currency to the government’s petro cryptocurrency and boosted taxes as part of a plan aimed at pulling the OPEC member out of its economic tailspin

 
 

As part of the devaluation, the official rate for the currency will go from about 285,000 per dollar to 6 million and together with salaries and prices, will be pegged to the Petro cryptocurrency which is reportedly backed by crude oil and is valued by the government at $60, or 3,600 sovereign bolivars. The Petro will fluctuate and be used to set prices for goods.

Government officials tried to partly mask the shock by raising the minimum wage 3,500% so instead of the new minimum wage being 1.8 million strong bolivars, it will be 1,800 sovereign bolivars: the equivalent of $30 a month. Banks were closed and busy trying to adopt ATMs and online platforms to the new currency rules; they will likely fail.

venezuela%20chicken.jpg A 2.4 kg chicken is pictured next to 14,600,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 2.22 USD, at a mini-market in Caracas. It was the going price at an informal market in the low-income neighborhood of Catia. Photo: REUTERS
 

Less discussed was the concurrent increase in the value added tax by 4%, while officials also ended some gasoline subsidies, saving the government $10 billion a year, as many ordinary citizens are forced to switch from subsidized to western fuel prices.

Even though Maduro boasted in Friday night’s announcement that the IMF wasn’t involved in the policies, aspects of the moves bore a resemblance to a classic orthodox economic adjustment, even if those usually involve removal of the corrupt regime whereas Maduro is only becoming more entrenched. Meanwhile, most economists said the plan announced on Friday will escalate the crisis facing the once-prosperous country that is now suffering from Soviet-style product shortages and a mass exodus of citizens fleeing for nearby South American countries.

As Bloomberg notes, the symbolism of announcing the drastic measures on a Friday night wasn’t lost on many Venezuelans. In 1983, President Luis Herrera Campins devalued the bolivar for the first time in 22 years after oil prices crashed. The day became to be known locally as “Black Friday.”

When in 1989 Venezuela raised gasoline costs, lifted foreign-exchange controls and let the currency plunge, prices soared 21 percent in one month alone, leading to riots known as the “Caracazo” that killed hundreds and eventually paved the way for Chavez’s rise to power.

There were no riots - or celebrations - on Monday, however: streets were deserted and shops were closed due to a national holiday that Maduro decreed for the first day of the new pricing plan for the stricken economy, which the International Monetary Fund has estimated will have 1 million percent inflation by year end. Venezuela is already well on its way:according to the Bloomberg Cafe Con Leche index - which tracks the price of a cup of coffee - inflation in Venezuela has hit an annual inflation rate of 108,596%.

bbg%20cafe%20con%20leche.jpg

 

In many ways the devaluation is a mere formality. For years now, most people and companies have been unable to access dollars at government-set rates and have been purchasing them in the black market. As a result, the prices on many goods across the country are already based on that exchange rate.

"They had to do this because they ran out of money," Moises Naim, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and a former minister in Venezuela, said from Washington. He pointed out that oil production -- pretty much the country’s sole industry at this point -- has plummeted in recent years amid a shortage of equipment and technical expertise, foreign reserves have plummeted and allies such as China and Russia are providing less support.

As for ordinary Venezuelans they were mostly baffled by the monetary overhaul and skeptical it will achieve anything.  "This is out of control, prices are sky high," said Betzabeth Linares, 47, in a supermarket in the central city of Valencia. "What worries me is how we’ll eat, the truth is that the way things are going, I really don’t know.

Most local businesses were shocked by the announcement: the new measures spooked shopkeepers already struggling to stay afloat due to hyperinflation, government-set prices for goods ranging from flour to diapers, and strict currency controls that crimp imports.

Private companies, already dealing with hyperinflation, years of brain drain, price controls and threats of seizure, now must deal with even faster inflation and mandatory wage hikes. It’s also possible that the exodus of Venezuelans to other countries will increase, even as Ecuador and Peru announced entry restrictions and tensions flared along the border with Brazil.

"People are leaving because of a feeling of despair, and the desperation will now increase," Naim said.

But the biggest question is how the military, without whose support Maduro will be swept from office overnight, would react. It was not immediately clear how the shock measures will sit with the local military which already runs much of the nation. Top ranking generals have been handed the keys to ministries, the state-run oil company and the lucrative business of food imports. Myriad exchange rates created juicy arbitrage opportunities that enriched many close associates of the state.

"Clearly this will hit Maduro’s popularity, but power is being sustained with bullets and not with votes," Naim said. "As long as the military continues to have access to lucrative businesses it will continue to grant support to the government."

For now there is little hope that the official opposition, a fragmented group of parties whose leaders are either in hiding or in jail, can stir a popular uprising: Together with several labor unions, the opposition called for protests against the measures Tuesday as well as a 24-hour national strike. It was not immediately clear if anyone turned up.

Maduro, who was re-elected to a second term in May in a vote many said was rigged, has said his government is the victim of an “economic war” led by political adversaries with the help Washington, and accuses the United States of seeking to overthrow him. While the US has denied the accusations, it has described the former bus driver and union leader as a dictator and levied several rounds of financial sanctions against his government and top officials.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-20/venezuela-slashes-5-zeros-currency-one-greatest-devaluations-ever

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Was watching on the news this morning, one roll of toilet paper cost the equiv of $12.00 ... what's going on there is truly a shame.

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11 minutes ago, Shelley said:

Was watching on the news this morning, one roll of toilet paper cost the equiv of $12.00 ... what's going on there is truly a shame.

 

Could be off just a tad. This was a news article I read just today showing how much cash was required to buy basic's.

 

   pp

 

Slide 4 of 11: “Venezuela needs big economic changes and we are going to do it ourselves,” Maduro said at a rally in May.

 

A toilet paper roll is worth 2,600,000 bolivars, $0.40.

A toilet paper roll is pictured next to 2,600,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.40 USD, at a mini-market in Caracas, Venezuela.
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20 minutes ago, pokerplayer said:

 

Could be off just a tad. This was a news article I read just today showing how much cash was required to buy basic's.

 

   pp

 

Slide 4 of 11: “Venezuela needs big economic changes and we are going to do it ourselves,” Maduro said at a rally in May.

 

A toilet paper roll is worth 2,600,000 bolivars, $0.40.

A toilet paper roll is pictured next to 2,600,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.40 USD, at a mini-market in Caracas, Venezuela.

I was repeating what I heard on the news HMMMM I guess fake news. talk about needing a wheel barrel to shop in Iraq.... that big ole stack for one little measly roll of toilet paper

Edited by Shelley
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1 minute ago, Shelley said:

I was repeating what I heard on the news HMMMM I guess fake news. 

 

No idea, just thought I would post what I saw as well. Its all good.

 

   pp

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:14 AM, SocalDinar said:

VENEZUELANS ARE LOSING A LOT OF WEIGHT AMID MONEY CRISIS

BY ROBERT VALENCIA ON 2/22/18 AT 4:30 PM
 
 
 
Advertisement 0:09
 
 
 
 

Venezuelans, who once enjoyed South America’s most prosperous economy, are feeling the effects of food shortages and a crippled economy.

A study released Wednesday found that Venezuelans had lost an average of 11 kilograms, or 24 pounds, in body weight last year, and 90 percent of them live under poverty—up from 48 percent in 2014 and 82 percent in 2016. The three Venezuelan universities that published the report revealed that 60 percent of the people surveyed said they had woken up hungry in the past three months because they didn’t have money to purchase food. Nearly a quarter of the population was eating two or fewer meals per day, the study reported. 

 

VenezuelaFoodPeople shout slogans during a protest against the shortage of food, amid Fuerzas Armadas avenue in Caracas on December 28, 2017.FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Venezuelans have lost more weight compared to 2016, when they reported a loss of about 18 pounds, according to the annual study. For this year's survey, a dozen researchers surveyed 6,168 Venezuelans between the ages of 20 and 65. Roughly 30 million people call Venezuela home.  

 

The report highlighted that the population relies on a diet that lacks vitamins and protein. The limited food options are the result of skyrocketing hyperinflation—which soared over 440,000 percent last month—that makes it difficult for Venezuelans to make ends meet. Currency control also prohibits food imports and has fueled long lines at stores to get basic products like flour. 

“Income is getting pulverized,” Maria Ponce, one of the study’s investigators, said during a press conference at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, according to Reuters. “This disparity between the rise in prices and the population’s salaries is so generalized that there is practically not a single Venezuelan who is not poor,” she added.

The study is considered one of the most comprehensive assessments on Venezuela’s well-being. The Venezuelan government has not released data on poverty since the first half of 2015, when the national statistics institute found that poverty rate stood at 33 percent, Reuters reported.

 

 
 

Hunger in Venezuela has taken a toll on its citizens’ productivity. Employees who can’t afford to buy food are growing too weak to perform heavy toil in the country's crucial economic sectors like oil production. A union leader from Petróleos de Venezuela, a state-owned company, told Bloomberg that 12 malnourished workers in the state of Zulia collapsed in November and December and they had to undergo treatment after being taken off drilling platforms. Another union leader from the same company has received complaints from famished workers in the city of Puerto La Cruz passing out on the job, the publication reported.

 

Venezuela-food-011218A woman walks between the empty shelves of a supermarket in Caracas on January 11.JUAN BARRETO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ever since then-President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, Venezuela has relied on oil-sponsored social programs, but failed state-driven policies and plummeting global oil prices have pushed Venezuelans to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

Venezuela’s economic woes worsened due to a deep recession since President Nicolás Maduro assumed power in 2013. In 2015, Maduro announced he would implement 20,000 fingerprint scanners at supermarkets in an attempt to ration food. He said at one point that Venezuelans’ habit of eating “three or four times a day” led to a shortage of toilet paper five years ago.  

Venezuelans are fleeing the country in search of food and jobs. Since 2017, more than 500,000 of them have crossed the Venezuela-Colombia border—a crisis similar to the 600,000 Syrian refugees in Germany or the 700,000 Rohingya who escaped to Bangladesh from Myanmar—and the influx is growing in neighboring countries like Guyana and Brazil. 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be America if the petrodollar goes away... I don't think anyone understands that. People in America today think we will always have everything we want... Just like they did in the 1920s... How soon people forget their own history. Does anyone here remember the oil embargo in the 1970s? It wasn't pleasant.

 

 

B/A

Edited by bostonangler
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Truth be told....Surely Chavez was a Populist...No doubt about it....I do admit it with no problem.....But he was also an intellectual Master  if compared to Maduro.....Sad, I know...But  there's no limit to the worsening of things.....

 

My very personal opinion of course.......

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