From happiness to misery: Venezuelans lost an average of 10 kg in weight last year

The IMF estimates a hyperinflation of 13 thousand percent, while the official measures are reduced to eliminate zeros and promote the petro

From happiness to misery: Venezuelans lost an average of 10 kg in weight last year

Next May 20, Venezuelans will once again go to the polls to elect a president, amid the tensions of a nation hit by an unstoppable hyperinflation.

A recent report released by the Finance Committee of the National Assembly of Venezuela revealed that inflation accumulated so far in 2018 reached 453.3%, a not very hopeful data for a worker who receives the equivalent of about 10 dollars as monthly salary.

Leer en español: De la felicidad a la miseria: Venezolanos perdieron en promedio 10 kg de peso el año pasado

Living in Venezuela has become a titanic task. The devaluation of the strong bolívar (national currency) is experienced daily with the constant variation of the parallel exchange rate or the black dollar. There are more than 5 referential rates that today move the economy of a country, where the dollar already appears as currency for the transactions of the day.

This situation was noticed, at the end of 2017, by the analyst Luis Vicente León who has argued that "the country is dollarized, what starts to happen is that people are charging in dollars. That has happened not only in Venezuela, but in many countries of the world”. The Government denies this situation and insists on its thesis of economic warfare, for which it announced for the month of June a new monetary cone. This measure will consist in the elimination of three zeros to the currency of present circulation.

The prices of the products change every day and the cost of living is getting higher, even to acquire basic foods. Rafael Guzmán, a member of the Finance Commission of the opposition majority parliament, warned that "what is coming is worse and what is coming is more misery".

This misery is palpable in the streets of this OPEC member country and with abundant natural resources. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that hyperinflation will climb to 13,000% in 2018.

The ex-minister of French Economy and director of the IMF, Christiane Lagarde, considered that the one of Venezuela "is the saddest history of the continent. In four years, it has reduced 40% of GDP; lives a humanitarian crisis, and the Government denies it. I do not know how it will be resolved but it will need humanitarian, financial support, a complete resuscitation of the country. "

A press release, by the Human Rights Foundation, reveals that in 2017, Venezuelans lost an average of more than 22 pounds in weight due to famine and malnutrition. According to the NGO Caritas, 33 percent of the 10 million children in the country suffer from delayed growth.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated its recession forecast for the Venezuelan economy at -8.5%. In a statement, the only countries that will have a recession are Venezuela (-8.5%) and Dominica (-5.0%), which will affect the growth of South America and will only be of 2.0%. This cipher is slightly below of the regional average, due to the negative figures of Venezuela.

Economists in the South American country agree that hyperinflation is not resolved by removing zeros or forcing petros (virtual currency). Both measures adopted by the government of Nicolás Maduro are solutions aiming to end the economic crisis that hits Venezuelans.

This country, which in 2014 was characterized as one of the happiest in the world, today ranks 103rd based on the results of the Gallup World Survey. The summary qualifies it as "the biggest loser" by down 2.2 points on a scale of 0 to 10.

Happiness is undoubtedly one of the great absentees in this nation where its citizens suffer extreme poverty despite official figures that are certainly not a mirror of the country's reality. If there is still some legitimacy in the electoral process, on May 20, it will be decisive for the destiny of a nation where the quality of life goes in free fall.

 

Latin American Post | Yiemy Marian
Translated from “De la felicidad a la miseria: venezolanos perdieron en promedio 10 kg de peso el año pasado”

 

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