Venezuelans are celebrating what may be “the most austere” Christmas in living memory, given the intensity of the economic crisis, with hyperinflation and food shortages making the holiday a dim shadow of what it once was for millions of people across the country.
Olives are a staple ingredient for Venezuelan Christmas dishes, including pan de jamon and hallacas. Raiza Escobar, a retired professor, told El Pais:
I bought olives at BsS. 1,990 at the end of October, and today the cost BsS. 14,000.
The minimum monthly salary in Venezuela is BsS. 4,500. The price of the basic nutritious food basket–an index that measures how much ti costs to feed a family of five–rose to BsS. 44,954.13 in November.
The country’s inflation rate is expected to surpass 1,000,000% at the end of this year. A worker named Coromoto Gomez told the newspaper:
We had no problems before, but now we’re slaves to inflation. My children are more worried about what they’re eating than about getting toys.
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