La Verdad published an article today in which it claims that the Venezuelan economy had Bs. 686,305,653 injected into the economy by the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) between October and December of this year. The fact is problematic because more money in circulation in those quantities makes the value of all the money in circulation fall.

Gilberto Millan, a business leader in Zulia State, explained that the injection affects the country’s market “because it cannot stand it”, insofar as there isn’t enough merchandise on store shelves to justify so much new money being printed. Millan explained:

The price of products will increase because there is more money out in the market and fewer products.

In the same article, La Verdad cites Alberto Castellano, a professor of economics at the Universidad del Zulia, as saying that the BCV’s misguided policies have also resulted in the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to hit 14%. While Castellano points out that the actual figure is impossible to know since the BCV no longer published official economic statistics, he is “almost sure” that the BCV’s continuous pumping of money into both the general Venezuelan economy and PDVSA is contributing to the country’s deficit crisis. Castellano said:

The deficit is really high, but it’s not just how high it is: it’s how continuously high it’s been. We’ve had a few years of deficits now, and that’s a bad sign because the deficit is not bad per se; what’s bad is how you finance the deficit. The government finances it by making more money: in other words, printing higher quantities of bills, and this generates greater inflation and all Venezuelans end up paying for it.

CADIVEA: Stores Could be Stocked With 10% of Country’s Income

Manuel Felipe Larrazabal, the head of the Camara Venezolana de Industria de Alimentos [Venezuelan Chamber of Food Industries] (CADIVEA), said today that Venezuela could solve the severe scarcity crisis affecting it with only 10% of the money it earns.

Speaking in an interview on the Televen network, Larrazabal said:

Even though oil prices have been down, the food industry’s problems can be solved, and the country can grow its production by 25%. Moreover, if [the government] applies the measure we’ve proposed, in 120 days – a really short time span – we can restructure the way markets are stocked.

Larrazabal blamed the scarcity crisis on the fact that Venezuela imports the overwhelming majority of the food that it eats:

We must understand that for each finished product that we import into the Venezuela, the country could produce five times as much. On top of that, we’d be creating jobs, earning taxes and you start a great cycle.

Guanipa: Venezuela Must Stop Giving Away Oil

National Assembly deputy-elect Tomas Guanipa became the latest MUD politician to take aim at the controversial program by which Venezuela offers free or discounted oil to neighbouring nations through the PETROCARIBE initiative, saying in an interview on Globosivion that Venezuela had to start “charging for oil, and charging on time”. Guanipa also said that Venezuela had to take close look at all of her treaties with foreign nations, and that:

We have to promote the idea that oil belongs to every Venezuelan (…) we cant continue to give away oil to easily.

Guanipa also looked ahead to the role the MUD-controlled National Assembly would have in fixing the country’s problems, and said that he did not think the bloc could do it alone. Guanipa explained:

The solution to this crisis is a process (…) Venezuela has collapsed. We need the executive power [Maduro] to take part. We’re going to give the government the tools to fix these problems.

PETROCARIBE is a regional organization that allows Caribbean and other neighbouring countries to buy oil from Venezuela at highly preferential rates, with the ability to pay back either in cash or in goods in terms that can span two years.

Hundreds Stampede for Chance to Buy Food

A video uploaded to YouTube earlier today appears to show hundreds of people stampeding towards a Makro supermarket in Valle de la Pascua, Guarico state, presumably in the hopes of making it into the store to have a chance at buying scarce products.

Towards the end of the video, the human mass bottlenecks at a chain link fence gate.

Below, the video:

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

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