Zoe Papadakis – August 8, 2018
One U.S. dollar will buy you nearly 925,000 gallons of gasoline in Venezuela, which may sound like a dream come true, but the harsh reality is that the country is facing possibly the worst economic crisis in modern history, The Drive reported.
For five years Venezuela has been locked in a brutal recession, with hyperinflation of the Venezuelan bolivar approaching 1 million percent.
Foreign exchange reserves have fallen by about $2.5 billion in the past few months while the government has defaulted on most of the outstanding bonds, which are estimated to amount to $60 billion, Business Insider noted.
The situation is dire.
Venezuelans are starving amid food shortages, Reuters reported, and now the government of President Nicolás Maduro is losing support after his alleged attempted assassination over the weekend.
Venezuela has held on to its fuel subsidies that have made it one of the cheapest places to buy gas and, as The Drive noted, for years a tank of 91-octane fuel has cost less than a bottle of soda.
Fuel retail price covers less than 5 percent of the cost of production and the remainder has to be made up by the government.
DW – June 12, 2018
The South American country is spiraling further into a humanitarian disaster spurred by the government’s economic policies, which have caused inflation to skyrocket 24,571 percent in the past 12 months.
The opposition-dominated Venezuelan parliament issued fresh economic data on Monday, showing that inflation for the month of May spiked 110.1 percent compared with April, and sending annual inflation to a staggering 24,571 percent.
With daily inflation running at 2.4 percent, the country’s currency, the bolivar, plunged about 98 percent in the course of the past 12 months alone.
“It’s a tragedy that we are experiencing every day,” said the parliament’s finance commission spokesman Rafael Guzman as he revealed the latest figures.
Medical Express – June 10, 2018
Polio has been reported in Venezuela, a crisis-wracked country where the disease had been eradicated decades ago, the Pan-American Health Organization reports.
The organization said the child had no history of vaccination and lives in an under-immunized extremely impoverished Delta Amacuro state.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling childhood disease caused by the poliovirus, and preventable through immunization.
Doctor Jose Felix Oletta, a former Minister of Health, told AFP that the last case of acute poliomyelitis in Venezuela was reported in 1989.
“The virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as this case,” Oletta added.
Tom Phillip – April 26, 2018
Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.
“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” says the report by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazil-based thinktank focused on security and development issues.
The publication, released on Thursday, paints a bleak portrait of what it calls the world’s most homicidal continent.
Latin America suffers 33% of the world’s homicides despite having only 8% of its population. One-quarter of all global homicides are concentrated in four countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela – all of which are gearing up for presidential elections in which security is a dominant theme.
“The overall trend right now in Latin America is one of increasing homicides and deteriorating security,” said Robert Muggah, one of the report’s authors.
Mac Slavo – February 13, 2018
People are fleeing the socialism forced on them in Venezuela by the hundreds of thousands. Starving, and facing violence over crumbs of food, many have no choice but to flee the wasteland which used the authority of government to destroy the lives of its citizens.
Thousands of Venezuelans are attempting to flee the socialist dystopia their nation has become. They are attempting to make it to Colombia. In a desperate bid to escape the hunger and soaring crime rate caused by the spiraling economic crisis, fueled by socialist policies, incredible pictures have surfaced showing the mass exodus of refugees crossing the Simon Bolivar international bridge trying to flee the ongoing political crisis threatening to engulf Venezuela.
Colombia and its neighbor Brazil have both sent extra soldiers to patrol their porous borders with Venezuela after officially taking in more than half a million migrants over the last six months of 2017. The country is also tightening its border controls in a bid to stem the flow of starving people.
Kevin Ryan – February 7, 2018
Venezuela’s economic crisis continues to worsen. According to estimates from the Venezuelan opposition-led National Assembly, the socialist country’s annual inflation rate has risen to 4,068 percent over the past year.
Independent economists have produced similar figures.
For January, inflation was 84.2 percent, which analysts estimate would amount an annual inflation of more than 150,000 percent, with prices doubling every 35 days.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the inflation rate, currently the highest in the world, has risen so precipitously over the past 23 months that the Venezuelan government is unable to print enough money; customers often need stacks of bills even when paying for small purchases.
Maria Ramirez – November 24, 2017
CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela (Reuters) – On a recent morning in Venezuela’s southern jungle state of Bolivar, Amanda Santamaria, her two sons, one daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter lined up in front of a shabby community health center in the hope of receiving treatment for malaria.
All five of them are afflicted by the mosquito-borne disease, which is rapidly spreading through Venezuela as an economic meltdown strips the country of medicine and doctors.
“We don’t know if this is a curse, but the entire area is awash in malaria,” said Santamaria, 56, suffering her second bout of the illness in the last three months and relying on palliative herbal teas because she has not found regular drugs.
The family was waiting with some 500 others under the scorching sun in the hope of receiving treatment.
Unsanitary conditions in Bolivar are thought to have led to a recent flare-up in malaria, a life-threatening disease that had been largely brought under control in Venezuela in the 1990s.
Patrick Gillespie – November 14, 2017
Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.
The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.
A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.
If enough holders of a particular bond demand full and immediate repayment, it can prompt investors across all Venezuelan bonds to demand the same thing. Since Venezuela doesn’t have the money to pay all its bondholders right now, investors would then be entitled to seize the country’s assets — primarily barrels of oil — outside its borders.
Michael Snyder – September 14, 2017
Venezuela is the 11th largest oil producing country in the entire world, and it has just announced that it is going to stop using the petrodollar. Most Americans don’t even know what the petrodollar is, but for those of you that do understand what I am talking about, this should send a chill up your spine. The petrodollar is one of the key pillars of the global financial system, and it allows us to live a far higher standard of living than we actually deserve. The dominance of the petrodollar has been very jealously guarded by our government in the past, and that is why many are now concerned that this move by Venezuela could potentially lead us to war.
I don’t know why this isn’t headline news all over the country, but it should be. One of the few major media outlets that is reporting on this is the Wall Street Journal…
The government of this oil-rich but struggling country, looking for ways to circumvent U.S. sanctions, is telling oil traders that it will no longer receive or send payments in dollars, people familiar with the new policy have told The Wall Street Journal.
Before we go any further, we should discuss what we mean by the “petrodollar” for those that are not familiar with the concept. The following comes from an excellent article by Christopher Doran….
Patrick Gillespie – June 28, 2017
Violent protests are growing, the economy is spiraling further out of control and Venezuelans are suffering through shortages of food and medicine. And the bolivar, already worth next to nothing, keeps losing value.
At the beginning of the year, it took about 3,000 bolivars to buy one U.S. dollar. By Wednesday, it took almost 8,000. That’s according to dolartoday.com, which tracks the unofficial exchange rate used by most Venezuelans because official rates are considered overvalued.
“I’d describe it as the result of a government that prints money like it’s confetti,” says Raul Gallegos, senior analyst at Control Risks, an international consulting firm. “The government has simply employed the wrong policies to stay in power.”
Government corruption and mismanagement have triggered hyperinflation. Prices are set to rise a staggering 720% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.