Spain’s ABC published an article today in which it alleges that Maduro and Chavez’s daughters have spent an average of €2.6 million every day so far in 2014. In a separate article published earlier this month, ABC claimed that Maduro’s office budget has increased 40% since he became president last year.
ABC‘s quotes opposition National Assembly deputy Carlos Berrisbeitia, who has been tracking presidential expenditure over the past 15 years. Berrisbeitia said:
Maduro is the only Venezuelan who doesn’t have problems due to inflation since he asks parliament for credits to adjust his budget according to inflation.
Berrisbeitia called the €2.6 million figure “immoral and obscene”, and pointed out that Queen Elizabeth II of England spends less money per day.
The figure was arrived at by looking at the total sum of money charged to the Ministerio de la Secretaria del Despacho de la Presidencia (Maduro’s office), which equals €698 million, and the sum charged to La Casona, the presidential residence, which equals €266.7 million.
Maduro lives with his family in Fuerte Tiuna, while Chavez’s daughters continue to live in the presidential residence at La Casona more than a year and a half after their father’s death. Their daily expenses include the maintenance of “the bowling alley, a ball room, swimming pools, kitchen staff and vehicle maintenance”.
Medical Scarcity Intensifies
The scarcity crisis is intensifying, at least for the medical industry. According to El Nacional, “industry sources” have indicated that high-demand medical products (such as thyroid and diabetes medication) are nearly 75% scarce, Valproic acid, used to treat epilepsy, is particularly scarce:
It’s not only scarcity in the number of units delivered [to pharmacies and hospitals]. There are [medications] that are completely sold out, both in the brand name and generic varieties.
Since January, the government has cleared approximately $1.4 billion for the pharmaceutical industry to pay its debts. Still, efforts to normalize the flow of medicine into the country are failing, apparently due to the slow, inflexible nature of the bureaucratic barriers industries need to navigate in order to gain access to more funds for importing.
At the moment, there is an average delay of 80 days between the time a request for money is made and the day the money is received.
CENCOEX Crackdown Continues
CENCOEX – formerly CADIVI, the agency in charge of currency exchange – published the names of 17 companies that failed to comply with summons sent out to clarify irregularities with their financial activities. Companies that fail to answer the summons will be unable to apply for future funds from CENCOEX, and their cases will be handed over the Public Ministry for further investigation.
The organization also announced that it had approved $9.5 billion in funds for Venezuelan industries between January and July of this year.