Maracaibo saw sporadic protests today as residents of the city crowded around banks hoping to find cash to withdraw from their accounts. The quest for cash was precipitated by an increase to the cost of public transportation which came into effect today.
According to El Nacional, one resident of the city said:
People have been lining up since the overnight hours without knowing if they’ll get the cash necessary to pay for the buses, which [now costs] 1 Bs.S.
The video below shows a crowd of people outside of the Banco de Venezuela located in the city’s 5 de Julio avenue:
Below, long lines outside of banks in Maracaibo this morning:
Zulia’s capital was not the only city to see the phenomenon today. Below, an image of a crowd outside a bank Puerto Ordaz, located in Bolivar state:
On Friday, vice president Delcy Rodriguez announced that the price of transportation would increase to Bs.S. 1 for private units and Bs.S. 0.50 for public units. The increase constitutes a jump of between 500%-900% for bus fares.
Rodriguez also announced an increase to the price of regional transportation, with “short trips” now costing Bs.S. 1.50 and longer ones costing Bs.S. 2.
Maduro Unveils Gold Savings Initative
Earlier today, Maduro announced a new regime initiative called the Plan Nacional de Ahorro en Oro [National Gold Savings Plan]. The initiative, which kicks off on September 11 of this year, will allow Venezuelans to purchase gold certificates from the regime as a savings mechanism.
Speaking from Aragua state, Maduro touted the new plan as solid, because “no one can tell me that gold loses value”. As any other commodity, the price of gold fluctuates, and while the historical tendency is for the price of the metal to rise, short-term price dips are not unheard of.
Vice president of the economy Tareck El Aissami added that starting on September 11, Venezuelan will be able to purchase gold certificates for 1.5 grams and 2.5 grams, with the former costing Bs.S. 3,502 and the latter Bs.S. 5,837. On paper, the certificates will entitle the holder to the corresponding amount of a gold ingot, which will be under the care of the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV).
Maduro said that the plan was geared towards “every family in the country”, and that the measure would help him restore “economic equilibrium” to the country.
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