The National Assembly held a press conference today in which it provided and update on the country’s inflation figures.
During the conference, deputy Alfonso Marquina revealed that the annualized inflation rate from June 2017 to June 2018 hit a staggering 45,305%, a figure that appears to confirm that Venezuela is caught in a hyperinflationary spiral.
Marquina also said that between January and June of this year, the inflation rate rose 4,685%. The figure means that inflation rises in Venezuela more in a single day than it does in some countries in a year. Marquina said:
The daily inflation–listen to this–daily, is 2.8%. In other words, the daily inflation in Venezuela is higher than Chile’s in a whole year. Inflation is higher than in Colombia in a whole year.
According to Girish Gupta, a journalist who covers Venezuelan economic news, June’s inflation rate suggests that prices in the country are doubling every 26 days:
Marquina placed the blame for the inflation crisis on the Maduro regime, saying:
Unfortunately, as long as we have this government and these policies, far from solving the economic problem that we have in Venezuela, what we will continue to see is this getting worse each day, and unfortunately the ones who suffer from these mistakes by the government of Nicolas Maduro are the people of Venezuela.
El Nacional: Bolivar Soberano Worthless Even Before Launch
El Nacional published an article today in which it points out that the country’s new currency–the Bolivar Soberano [Sovereign Bolivar, BsS. ]–is now worthless, even before its launch. The currency was supposed to begin circulating on June 4 of this year, but the regime delayed its deployment until August 4 for reasons that were never made entirely clear.
Maduro sold the deployment of the Bolivar Soberano as a “necessary” measure to ensure “the happiness of our people“, and suggested that the measure would fix the country’s economic woes.
The newspapers cites economist and National Assembly deputy Angel Alvarado as pointing out that the country’s inflation rate means that even if the Bolivar Soberano hits the streets on August 4, its highest-denomination bill–BsS. 500–would be worth BsS. 15.
Inflation is so high, Alvarado explained, that in other for whatever currency Venezuela uses to keep its value, the regime would have to roll out a new set of bills with new values every month.
Leonardo Vera, an economist with the Universidad Central de Venezuela, pointed out that some of the BsS. bills and coins are already wholly obsolete, since they cannot be used practically to purchase anything.
For example, El Nacional points out that a kilogram of coffee costs Bs. 22,000,000 in the Chacao municipal market in Caracas. Were the Bolivar Soberano in circulation today, a person would have to have 44 off the highest-denomination bills to purchase the bag of coffee.
Vera said that out of the nine new bills and coins that are supposed to enter circulation on August 4, only the two bearing the highest denomination–BsS. 200 and BsS. 500–could hope to be useful in any way. However, given the hyperinflation affecting the country, the bills would become obsolete by November of this year.
Maduro Attends Erdogan Swearing-In
Maduro was in Turkey today to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Recep Erdogan, who was elected that country’s president for a second term on July 9.
Erdogan has become one of Maduro’s most important allies. Turkey and Venezuela have taken similar paths towards authoritarianism since 2013-2014.
The clip below shows Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores arriving at Erdogan’s president palace in Ankara for the ceremony this morning:
In the image below, Maduro and Erdogan exchange pleasantries:
While at the ceremony, Maduro also had a chance to meeting Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev:
Possible Mutiny in El Helicoide Underway
Late this afternoon, human rights lawyer Tamara Suju announced on her Twitter account that a mutiny was underway in the El Helicoide, the infamous prison of the regime’s political police, the SEBIN. El Helicoide, known colloquially as “La Tumba” (The Tomb), houses both general population and political prisoners, and is allegedly the site of brutal torture and other human rights abuses by SEBIN authorities.
#Venezuela URGENT. I’ve received information [saying that] SEBIN inmates in El Helicoide, now 55 days incommunicado, are protesting and have torn down gates, [which has] opened the way nearly to the visitor’s room! They protest against violations against their human rights and because they are being held isolated from their lawyers and families
The situation is ongoing, and details are scarce.
The last time that the El Helicoide prisoners staged a mutiny was in mid-May, when they revolted after one of their own was brutally beaten by his SEBIN captors.
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