The Venezuelan Economic Crisis
Food in Venezuela is becoming something far more scarce than the previous months of the humanitarian crisis it is currently facing.
In a world of seemingly global development, Venezuela is the outlier. In an era of growth, Venezuela faces the fasting contraction of any developing nation's economy. Moreover as reported by the Guardian (and as corroborated by a variety of news sources), Venezuela faces rapidly increasing violence and inflation nearing 1000%.
This by its very nature makes the Venezuelan crisis something unprecedented. For comparison, as of today, the Venezuelan Bolivar is worth 0.10 US Dollars. That, for a South American economy, is next to nothing. It requires nothing less than a large handful of cash to buy something as simple as a set of stamps or a roll of toilet paper. Moreover, this rate is just plain unsustainable. The Venezuelan Institute of Higher Administration Studies analyzes and estimates to cost of making new money as significantly more expensive than its value.
Another way of measuring the sheer disastrous nature of this economic state is Venezuela's exports. For a nation with that large of a population, Venezuela is decreasing the amount of food it both exports and imports. Bread shipments as reported by CNN money fell 94% while fruit exports from Venezuela fell 99%. This will only help to further exacerbate the problem. Moreover, the rice being sold in Venezuela (something that used to be primarily Venezuelan) is now Brazilian, something that has caused the price of it and flour to more than double.
As a whole what is this economic volatility leasing to that is worrisome: the destruction of the Venezuelan life. The Venezuelan people essentially no longer have the ability to pay for basic goods like food (and even what would seem like cheaper foods like canned peas/corn).
I would like to use this time to also note that Venezuela's food crisis in not on the level of evident malnutrition. It is being eased by imports from other South American nations. But it is still worsening at a critical rate.
What's possibly worse is that Venezuelan debt payments are at such high levels that they, according to the Venezuelan government, must be worked on, at the expense of food scarcity and medical supply shortages. Also, in what I think is a personal fit of pride, Venezuela is denying aid for humanitarian groups and nonprofit organizations like Amnesty International.
Weekly wages are not rising with inflation levels as well, something that in a BBC interview with a Venezuelan factory worker was described as only enough to buy minimal amounts of ham, margarine, and flour on the black market.
Moreover factories within the nation are finding themselves in the tough situation of not being able to produce their products, something that is an absolute must in order to bolster the economy. And why is this happening? The raw materials are simply not being cultivated within Venezuela anymore or the raw materials are simply too gosh darn expensive.