The Central Bank of Venezuela was forced to issue massive new denominations of their currency this week; with “ultra-inflation” rendering the socialist country’s money near “worthless.”
“Venezuela is releasing new banknotes for the second time in less than a year, the central bank said on Wednesday, after hyperinflation eroded the effects of an August 2018 monetary overhaul meant to improve availability of cash,” writes the Guardian.
“Banknotes of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolívar denominations will begin circulating on Thursday to ‘make the payment system more efficient and facilitate commercial transactions, the central bank said in statement,” adds the report.
The largest bank note of 50,000 bolivars is more than the 40,000 monthly minimum wage and is equivalent to $8.
Venezuela’ starving citizens continued to struggle to secure basic necessities last week; with local reports saying residents are bathing in rivers and streams after the government shut down “unnecessary” water supplies.
“On Thursday, Juan Guaido woke up and doused himself with a bucket of water,” reports Bloomberg. “It was his shower. Like millions of Venezuelans, the man who dozens of countries recognize as the legitimate leader of his broken country can’t rely on the taps to run.”
“It’s one of the things I hate most,” said the 35-year-old lawmaker. “It’s a symbol of poverty, and during much of my life I had to do it.”
“It’s going to get worse,” warned Guaido.
Venezuela’s feared street gangs -known for armed robberies across the Capital in recent years- are now “feeling the pinch” of the socialist nation’s crumbling economy, with a sharp decline in robberies as the country’s currency becomes “near worthless.”
“Firing a gun has become a luxury. Bullets are expensive at $1 each. And with less cash circulating on the street, he says robberies just don’t pay like they used to,” reports NBC News.
“But in something of an unexpected silver lining to the country’s all-consuming economic crunch, experts say armed assaults and killings are plummeting in one of the world’s most violent nations. At the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a Caracas-based nonprofit group, researchers estimate homicides have plunged up to 20% over the last three years based on tallies from media clippings and sources at local morgues,” adds the report.
Inflation for Venezuela’s failing currency topped 1,000,000% in 2018.
DEVELOPING: Desperate Venezuelans Turn to ‘Sewage Pipes’ for Water as Blackout Continues
Desperate Venezuelans turned to “sewage drains” and other drastic measures to obtain water Tuesday as the nation’s blackout continued to cripple the country’s infrastructure and crumbling economy.
“As Venezuela’s five-day power blackout left homes without water, Lilibeth Tejedor found herself looking for it on Monday in the last place she would have imagined – a drain pipe feeding into a river carrying sewage through the capital,” reports Reuters.
“Tejedor, 28, joined dozens of people who had flocked to the Guaire river, which snakes along the bottom of a sharp ravine alongside Caracas’ main highway, to fill up a four-gallon (15 liter) plastic container,” adds the report.
“The ones that are most affected are the children, because how do you tell a child that there’s no water?” said one resident.
Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro has publicly blamed the blackout on US authorities; accusing the Trump administration of launching “electrical warfare” against his regime.
Read the full report at Reuters.
‘DETERIORATING SITUATION’: Mike Pompeo Orders Withdrawal of US Embassy Staff from Venezuela
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Monday night that the Trump administration is ordering the return of all staff from the US Embassy in Venezuela in the coming days; citing a “deteriorating situation” resulting from the country’s five-day long blackout.
“The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from @usembassyve this week. This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy,” posted Pompeo on social media.
The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from @usembassyve this week. This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 12, 2019
The announcement comes as Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro publicly accused the United States of orchestrating the crippling blackout; saying the Trump administration has launched “electrical warfare” against his troubled regime.