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.