El Impulso published its last print edition today, bringing an end to the circulation run that it started 114 years ago. The newspaper has been forced to stop circulation due to a lack of printing paper.
The newspaper explained the circumstances surrounding its end in an editorial published today, which I’ve translated below:
Today is the last day that they will allow us to circulate.
After 114 years of existence, El Impulso is being forced to close our print issue indefinitely due to a lack of raw materials. As an organization, we’ve filed all of the necessary paperwork to keep our line of production up.
Once again, the Alfredo Maneiro Corporation (the only one authorized by the government to provide print media with resources), has been keeping us waiting.
Alongside other newspaper companies, we announce this forced and difficult decision in light of the complex situation that the country is traversing.
Today, our future seems uncertain. We cannot escape the calamity that Venezuela is living when it comes to the political, the social, and the economic.
First and foremost, we would like to thank our loyal readers, distributors, announcers, and friends who have supported us during this time and others, under such difficult circumstances as these. We [would also like to thank] our workers for their relentless support for this company through so many years.
It is worth pointing out that this event will have incalculable consequences for the freedom of expression and freedom of press, given that El Impulso is considered to be an icon of modern journalism and social justice struggles. However, we will not yield in our efforts to show the reality that the country is living through other media channels.
These 114 years have not been in vain. We have survived instability in other eras. We will continue to fight from any space we consider a trench, and in so doing continue to maintain our followers informed about daily events. We will always defend truth and democratic values. We will continue to be the voice of the people, to whom we have been indebted since our foundation.
In Venezuela, access to foreign currency is strictly regulated by the Maduro regime. Newspapers that are critical of the regime are routinely denied foreign currency, making it impossible for them to purchase print paper, all of which must be imported to the country.
According to the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Prensa (National Press Workers Syndicate), at least 20 newspapers were forced to close in 2017 due to a lack of printing paper.
Peru Calls Lima Group Meeting Over Elections in Venezuela
Peru has called for a special meeting of the Lima Group to take place on Tuesday in the titular capital, during which time the group is expected to discuss the matter of the upcoming presidential election in the country.
The Group–which is made up of 12 regional nations working together to restore democracy in Venezuela–considers that the regime’s announced date of April 22 for the presidential vote “will not allow the process to be fair, free, transparent and democratic”. This concern echoes those of Venezuelan regime critics, as well as that from one of the heads of Venezuela’s electoral authority.
The Lima Group is made up of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala,. Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and Costa Rica. A meeting of the Group on January 23 also included representatives from Guayana and Saint Lucia.
Minimum Monthly Salary Only Buys A Carton of Eggs and One Kilogram of Cheese
The country’s hyperinflationary crisis is rendering money more and more useless with each passing day. According to Cronica Uno, the minimum monthly salary–Bs. 797.510.40–is now equivalent to a carton of 30 eggs and a kilogram of cheese.
According to the website, a carton of 30 eggs today costs Bs. 500,000. That is an increase of 9,515% in one year; in January of 2017, the same product sold for Bs. 5,200 in the country’s supermarkets. A kilogram of hard cheese today costs Bs. 200,000.
A woman named Carolina Velasquez told reporters with the website how her family deals with the crisis:
The price of eggs is the same everywhere. We haven’t eliminated this protein, but we’ve reduced how much of it we eat. We make it last by making perico [a typical Venezuelan omelette with peppers and tomatoes], and we substitute it with grains.
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