The black market exchange rate jumped over Bs. 50 today from Bs. 350 per U.S. dollar yesterday, jumping to at Bs. 402.00 by 5:30 PM local time. The sudden jump in the exchange rate generated enough discussion to become a national trending topic on Twitter late this afternoon.

The SIMADI rate crept up to the Bs. 200 mark, finishing the day at Bs. 199.77.

Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, has said that the black market exchange rate is increasing due to a number of factors. First, the national deficit, combined with a shortage of foreign currency; second, the lucrative contraband business, and third, the decrease in national income as a result of lower oil prices.

Brazil, Uruguay Speak Out Against Repression in Venezuela

The Presidents of Brazil and Uruguay, Dilma Rousseff and Tabare Vazquez, respectively, expressed their “concern” over the socio-political situation in Venezuela at a press conference in Brasilia. Vazquez is currently on an official visit to Brazil.

At the press conference, Rousseff spoke on her behalf and that of her counterpart, saying:

We are both concerned about Venezuela, [and we believe  that] its legitimate government and other political forces should peacefully resolve [its problems] within the framework of their constitution.

Meanwhile, former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez said today that he was “ashamed” by the “regression of democracy” in Venezuela.” Gonzalez spoke out specifically against the fact that political prisoners exist in the country, saying:

I’ve spent part of my life fighting against that, and I’m not going to give up.

Despite the dire situation, Gonzalez said that he was heartened by the fact that Venezuelans at home and abroad were still fighting for democracy, “voting and fighting against dictatorship.”

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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