Posted tagged ‘Venezuelan inflation’

Venezuela 2017: Socialist Policies Take Humanitarian Toll as Country Enters Dictatorship

December 24, 2017

Venezuela 2017: Socialist Policies Take Humanitarian Toll as Country Enters Dictatorship, BreitbartBen Kew, December 24, 2017

(Venezuelans who despise the Marudo regime and have the means to do so have probably left already.  One of the first things Chavez did when thousands of oil workers went on strike was to fire them all and replace them with others who knew nothing about working at an oil refinery. Chavez was bad and Maduro is worse. — DM)

Emigration has also become a major issue, with the outflux of Venezuelan migrants reaching unprecedented levels. Venezuela has surpassed Syria as the number one source of asylum requests into the United States, while the neighboring country of Colombia has begun drawing up plans for refugee camps should the country’s humanitarian crisis continue to worsen.

“2017 was the year when the international community finally accepted that the Venezuelan regime has morphed into a real narco-state with dangerous implications for the region,” former Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.N. Diego Arria told Breitbart News.

“2018 will mark the implosion of the crumbling Venezuela economy, the spread of massive poverty and hunger, becoming the worst humanitarian tragedy of any country in the region,” he continued. “Altogether this should lead to an increasing popular revolt that might convince the military to stop supporting this a bankrupt narco-state, under the increasing pressure of international sanctions.

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Although Venezuela’s problems began with the election of the authoritarian left-wing revolutionary Hugo Chávez in 1998, 2017 was the year that the country’s problems became too catastrophic for even the world’s most ardent socialists to defend.

Politically, the year has been defined by Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government’s increasingly blatant efforts to rule the country decree, while an embattled and disunified opposition continue to fail in their attempts to unify the country to bring down the government.

In January, Maduro appointed Aragua state governor Tareck El Aissami as the nation’s new vice president, a figure with strong links to major drugs trafficking outlet across Latin America and the jihadi terror organization Hezbollah. Together, the pair has schemed to turn the country into a one-party state.

The country’s crisis came to a head in April after opposition leaders called for daily protests that would rock the nation to its core. Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets every day to fight for their freedom and were met with shocking levels of brutality by security forces, which included the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons, that led to the deaths of 125.

The protests were primarily a response to increasing political persecution by the Maduro regime, as well as plans to rewrite the country’s constitution by creating an illegal lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly” that usurped the power of elected lawmakers and replaced them with government-approved cronies.

The Maduro regime eventually prevailed in their attempts to install the lawmaking body, which they legitimized through an election marred by violence which was later found to have been fraudulent. The body has since moved to pass laws to increase the regime’s authority, which include a law “against hatred and fascism” and bringing charges against political opponents.

Despite widespread unpopularity, Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has also had considerable electoral success in both mayoral and regional elections, boycotted by many opposition parties. The State Department later confirmed that both elections were plagued by a number of irregularities, including the banning of international observers, voter intimidation, and the closing of polling stations in opposition-controlled areas.

Maduro has also ruled that main opposition parties can no longer stand in next year’s presidential election, declaring that they will “disappear from the political map.”

The government has also ratcheted up political persecution. Thousands of political dissidents remain in prison, including opposition leader Leopoldo López. Meanwhile, figures such as Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma and Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, a former government loyalist, have also fled the country.

Economic turmoil has also plagued the regime, amid skyrocketing rates of inflation that have rendered the Bolivar currency practically worthless as well as a failure to meet a number of debt payments amounting to around $200 billion.

Two of the regime’s main creditors are China and Russia. Despite managing to agree on a debt restructuring package with Russia, China appears to have lost patience, and last month filed a lawsuit filed a lawsuit against the country’s state-run oil firm Petroleum of Venezuela (PDSVA) over a series of missed payments.

Yet amid all the political and economic turmoil, Venezuela is also facing the worst humanitarian crisisin its history. With a monthly minimum wage of around $1.50, millions of families can no longer afford enough food to eat, basic medical necessities, or power in their homes.

Shocking cases include teenage girls turning to prostitution, the butchering of zoo animals for food, and even cases of cannibalism as people struggle to feed themselves.

2017 has also seen the value of the Venezuelan bolivar collapse to levels comparable to Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic, with one American dollar now worth 112,000 bolivares, as Maduro continues to hike the country’s minimum wage to fight against what he claims is an “economic war” led by the United States.

The crisis has attracted worldwide attention, particularly in the United States. The White House imposed multiple economic sanctions against the regime, as well as personal sanctions against Maduro and other government officials.

President Donald Trump has also become a prominent voice on the crisis, claiming that America “will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” and has even mulled the possibility of military action as a solution.

Maduro has since urged his country’s military to prepare for war with the U.S, urging them to have “rifles, missiles, and well-oiled tanks at the ready … to defend every inch of the territory if need be.” He has also ordered civilians to join in “civic-military exercises” at government-run boot camps to prepare for a potential invasion.

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Image

Emigration has also become a major issue, with the outflux of Venezuelan migrants reaching unprecedented levels. Venezuela has surpassed Syria as the number one source of asylum requests into the United States, while the neighboring country of Colombia has begun drawing up plans for refugee camps should the country’s humanitarian crisis continue to worsen.

“2017 was the year when the international community finally accepted that the Venezuelan regime has morphed into a real narco-state with dangerous implications for the region,” former Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.N. Diego Arria told Breitbart News.

“2018 will mark the implosion of the crumbling Venezuela economy, the spread of massive poverty and hunger, becoming the worst humanitarian tragedy of any country in the region,” he continued. “Altogether this should lead to an increasing popular revolt that might convince the military to stop supporting this a bankrupt narco-state, under the increasing pressure of international sanctions.”

Socialism: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Crashes to Under Four Dollars a Month

November 11, 2017

Socialism: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Crashes to Under Four Dollars a Month, BreitbartBen Kew, November 10, 2017

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

As part of his socialist economic program, the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez would boast that Venezuela had the highest minimum wage in Latin America, equivalent to $372 a month. However, inflation began to soar as early as 2007 and has now reached levels comparable to Germany’s Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation crisis, which saw people using wheelbarrows to buy products and the introduction of a 100 trillion dollar banknote.

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The monthly minimum wage in the socialist country of Venezuela has crashed to under four dollars a month as hyperinflation continues to crush the country’s shattered economy.

Despite dictator Nicolás Maduro’s five minimum wage hikes over the course of 2017, the monthly minimum wage of 177,507 bolivares is equivalent to $3.41, working out at just over two cents an hour, according to latest real value exchange rates.

Venezuelans also receive a monthly food ticket of 279,000 bolivares a month, bringing people’s total monthly income to around approximately nine dollars a month.

Maduro confirmed last week that the government would debut a new 100,000 Bolivar bill, making it the highest denomination note released in modern Venezuelan history. The move comes less than a year after he tried to relieve pressure on consumers by releasing 500, 1000, 2000, 10,000, and 20,000 bolivar notes, although all of these notes now all have a value of well under half a dollar.

While, ten years ago, a 100 Bolivar note could buy a television, it is now worth just over one cent, with the currency having lost over 99.99 percent of its value since 2010. Yet rates of inflation continue to accelerate amid fears of a default on the country’s colossal debt.

On Wednesday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed that Russia would offer Maduro a restructuring package on Venezuela’s $3 billion debt, although analystsbelieve this will do little to ease the overall debt burden, which currently stands at around $120 billion.

The unprecedented levels of inflation have now led the country into the worst humanitarian crisis in its history, leaving millions living in abject poverty amid chronic shortages of basic resources such as food, electricity, medicine, and sanitary products.

The country’s government also faces further pressure from the United States, with the Trump administration signing off on a range of sanctions primarily targeting the country’s state-run oil company following the socialist government’s installation of a “national constituency assembly,” a fraudulent lawmaking body which has effectively rendered the country a dictatorship.

As part of his socialist economic program, the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez would boast that Venezuela had the highest minimum wage in Latin America, equivalent to $372 a month. However, inflation began to soar as early as 2007 and has now reached levels comparable to Germany’s Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation crisis, which saw people using wheelbarrows to buy products and the introduction of a 100 trillion dollar banknote.