Venezuela’s Economic Woes Force Country to Rely on Trade
Venezuela’s economic woes haven’t yet ceased, but the country may receive some help from other nations to deal with shortages of food, medicine, and other goods.
The Brazilian government has pledged to provide medicine and food, according to Diosdado Cabello, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
Cabello explained that Venezuela can overcome its obstacles thanks to support from Brazil, which is already producing many of the products that Venezuelans need.
The country has been plagued for a while by a number of shortages, from food and medicine to products like diapers and cigarettes. It’s unknown whether the Brazilian government will provide the latter, though, given that tobacco cigarettes have more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which have been proven cause cancer.
But the deal with Brazil may only be a temporary fix at best.
Venezuela still deals with high levels of inflation and a currency that isn’t even worth one cent.
The official currency of Venezuela, the bolivar, is worth 0.2 cents in American dollars. One U.S. dollar is equal to 408 bolivars.
As a result of the exchange rate, Venezuelans happen to be paying for some of the cheapest gas in the world — at least by the standard of other countries.
Many of the economic problems for Venezuela stem from the Bolivarian Revolution, implemented by former President Hugo Chavez to distribute wealth equally among the country’s citizens.
Yet it hasn’t exactly worked. The country has to import many of its goods, from toilet paper to beef, and consumers can wait outside their local grocery stores for several hours just to get basic necessities.
Under President Nicolas Maduro, who has been in charge of the nation for two years now, the government barters in trades. Uruguay gives Venezuela beef for oil; Trinidad and Tobago tried to offer toilet paper for oil, but Venezuelan officials didn’t comment on a deal.
Even government officials have come under fire. Although Cabello is the second highest ranked official in the country, for instance, he is also under investigation for alleged involvement in drug trafficking by the U.S. government.
The seven highest ranking officials in Venezuela had their U.S. assets, including homes and bank accounts, frozen and confiscated back in March. In total, the Venezuelan government owes other countries around $5 billion.