60 trucks carrying 22 tonnes of pork meat crossed into Venezuela from Colombia today in the newest chapter of the Christmas ham saga. The trucks began crossing into Venezuela last night across the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, which connects the city of Cucuta on the Colombian side with the Ureña municipality in Venezuela.
The pork delivery follows a bizarre week that saw the Maduro regime blame its failure to deliver on a,promise to provide Venezuelans with Christmas hams by blaming the Portuguese government. Such is the importance of the pork cut for Venezuelan Christmas cuisine that the shortage of the meat caused protests in Caracas and other areas of the country.
The 22 tonnes that arrived today are part of 50-tonne order, approximately half of which is idling on the border waiting for the authorization of the relevant paperwork.
On Wednesday, Maduro appeared on television and blamed Portugal for “sabotaging” Venezuelan’s pork purchase in a disjointed speech that answered few questions. The government of Portugal was quick to respond to Maduro’s tirade, and clarified that it was not in the pork business.
Maduro’s accusation was followed by another from Freddy Bernal, the PSUV official in charge of the government’s subsidized distribution network, who claimed yesterday that Colombia and the United States had “sabotaged” Venezuelan pork purchases. The Colombian government reacted to Bernal’s accusation by pointing out that the Venezuelan government had not filed any paperwork related to the export of pork from Colombia.
December Inflation Hits 81%
Asdrubal Oliveros, an economist and head of the Ecoanalitica financial firm, revealed today that the inflation rate in Venezuela shot up 81% in December. Oliveros also said that he expects the total 2017 inflation rate in the country to hit a whopping 2,735%.
While the Maduro regime claims that the country’s inflation crises is the result of an “economic war” being waged against Venezuela by a vast and nebulous networks of foreign and domestic enemies, it is widely understood by economists and other independent observers that deeply flawed economic policies are to blame. For example, the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) increased the country’s money supply by 24.15% between December 15 and December 22 alone.
Oliveros’ estimate is higher than that of other economists, whose estimations generally ranged in the 1,000% to 1,500% range. Still, even the lower estimates give Venezuela the sad distinction of being the only country on the earth to finish 2017 with four-digit inflation figures.
The BCV stopped publishing economic information two years ago, leaving the task of discerning the figures to economists.
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