The National Assembly revealed today that the country’s inflation rate in 2017 reached 2,616%, handily beating most economists’ forecasts. The National Assembly’s figures are the closest to official numbers from the Venezuelan government, since the regime-controlled Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) no longer publishes inflation numbers.
Today’s numbers were released by the legislature’s finance commission, which also warned that the inflation rate for 2018 could reach and unprecedented 10,000% if the BCV continues to print money to finance the regime. According to deputy Jose Guerra, the regime must consider dollarizing the Venezuelan economy in order to avoid a hyperinflationary spiral that threatens to destroy what little remains of the country’s economy.
Through his Twitter account, Guerra pointed out that the country’s inflation rate for December–85%–was higher than that recorded in every other Latin American country for all of 2017.
Maduro Calls National Assembly President “Perverse Mummy”
Maduro had harsh words for Omar Barboza today, the newly-elected president of the National Assembly for the 2018 parliamentary session. Speaking during a televised address earlier today, Maduro launched into a rambling tirade that included an attack on Barboza, as well as former National Assembly presidents and leading opposition figures Henry Ramos Allup and Julio Borges. The attacks came in the form of schoolyard slights on the men’s physical appearance.
Below, Maduro’s comments:
Now they’ve [the National Assembly] named a so-called president, Omar Barboza. He’s a perverse creature. Very corrupt. A mummy. If we already had “The Old Lady” Ramos Allup and “Big Eyebrows” Julio Borges, now we’ve got “The Mummy”. This man is very perverse. He’s pure venom. I will face you if you try to mess with the people. Get ready, because things will end very badly for you, Omar Barboza.
Maduro’s comments came as news broke that the National Assembly will pass a motion tomorrow condemning the regime’s creation and roll-out of the petro, a cryptocurrency the details of which are unknown that Maduro is touting as “the future of humanity”.
Maduro Says Venezuelan Healthcare System “Second Best” On Earth
During the same address, Maduro made shocking remarks about Venezuela’s collapsed healthcare system, calling it “the second bed in the world” and praising its near-perfect performance on a number of measures.
It’s not clear which country Maduro considers to have the best healthcare system in the world.
Speaking on the strength of the Venezuelan system, Maduro said:
Never in our history have we had healthcare preparation [sic] like we do now. We’ve created a revolution in public health.
In fact, the Venezuelan healthcare system is in ruins having suffered from rampant mismanagement and corruption for years, specially during Maduro’s tenure as president. Venezuela’s hospitals have become hellish dens of suffering and decay over the past several years, as chronic shortages of even the most basic medicines and supplies have effectively resulted in the destruction of Venezuelan healthcare.
Maduro followed his praise for the country’s healthcare system with disparaging comments of that of Colombia, saying that Venezuela “could go help Colombia” with its own healthcare problems since the system in the neighbouring country is “totally privatized”.
Ortega Diaz Meets Chilean President
Former attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz met with Chilean president Sebastián Piñera in Santiago today to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. Through her Twitter account, Diaz said that the meeting included a discussion on “possible actions” that the Chilean government could take in order to aid with a resolution of the crisis.
Below, an image of the meeting:
Once a pillar of chavismo, Ortega Diaz served as attorney general from 2007 until August of last year, when she was removed from her position by the Maduro regime and forced to flee the country under mounting political pressure. Ortega Diaz began a public break from the regime in March of last year, when she began to publicly condemn Maduro’s hard drive towards authoritarianism and the brutal repression with which he quelled last year’s anti-government protests.
Ortega Diaz now travels the world raising awareness about the regime’s human rights violations.
26 Robbed in El Avila Over the Weekend
A group of 26 people were robbed by a gang that operated inside the El Avila park in Caracas, a popular hiking destination located on the mountain range of the same name that runs across the city’s northern edge.
El Nacional reports that the victims were all “ambushed” by a gang of five individuals who appear to have set up camp inside the park. One of the robbery victims told the newspaper that that attackers led the group away to another area of the park where they held them for an hour, presumably to prevent them from telling the authorities and other hikers about the event.
The same victim told the newspaper:
In total there were about 25 of us. There was a family that had stayed the night before in El Avila, and they were there with their children. It all happened between 10:30 and 11:00 AM. They took everything from us: cellphones, watches, backpacks, and even our food.
El Avila is often cited by Venezuelans as one of Caracas’s most attractive features. Venezuelans who leave the city often reminisce about admiring the mountain’s beauty, the imposing figure of which looms over the city.
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