The Bolivar, Venezuela’s official currency, took a beating this week after losing 16.6% of its value against the U.S. dollar. The figures come directly from the DICOM currently exchange system, which is run by the Venezuelan Central Bank.
In Venezuela, currency exchange rates are set by the government each week based on a system of bids that is somewhat regulated both by the demand of foreign currency from potential buyers as well as the supply of the same by the government.
This week, the rate for $1 US was set at Bs. 2,640.
The Bolivar’s official collapse has forced the black market rate to skyrocket. The current black market rate for 1$ US is Bs. 8,293.89.
At the official DICOM exchange rate, a Venezuelan worker earning the minimum monthly salary (Bs. 65,021) earns $24.63 dollars a month. At the black market rate, the same workers’ monthly earnings equal $7.84.
Delcy Rodriguez Replaced as Foreign Minister
Maduro announced today that he was replacing Delcy Rodriguez as Foreign Affairs Minister with Samuel Moncada, who represented Venezuela at the Organization of American States.
Rodriguez had been Minister of Foreign Affairs since December of 2014, and had become a common fixture on the Venezuelan news cycle as the public face of the Maduro regime outside of the country.
Following her departure from the Foreign Ministry, Rodriguez is planning to run as a candidate in the upcoming election for the Constituent Assembly, which is scheduled to take place on July 30.
If elected, Rodriguez will be part of an assembly of approximately 540 people, and will be tasked with writing a new national constitution.
NGO Tallies 2,600+ Protests Since April 1
The Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (OVCS), an NGO that tracks protests and social unrest, revealed today that it had tallied more than 2,600 protests in the country since the current wave of anti-regime unrest began to spread through the country on April 1.
The number of protests is up 65% from the same time last year, when the country experienced 1,614 protests.
The OVCS also noted that the number of reported incidents of violence at protests has increased significantly since Maduro announced a crackdown on the unrest through the activation of the so-called Plan Zamora on April 18, a security initiative meant to restore order in the country.
According to the NGO, the Capital District area of the country, which includes Caracas, has seen the most protest-related fatalities since April 1 (21), followed by Miranda state (17), Carabobo state (14), and Barinas and Lara states (10).
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