Venezuela – once the richest country in Latin America – is coping with one of the worst economic disasters in the world.
Inflation has skyrocketed, prices are at an all-time high, and the national currency, the bolivar, has lost much of its value. Financial devastation has led to mass migration, starvation, and deadly political unrest.
President Nicolas Maduro blames it on what he calls an “economic war” against his country. His critics say widespread corruption and the government’s mismanagement are responsible.
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In an attempt to solve the problem, the government has introduced a plan to curb hyperinflation.
There is a new currency, the Sovereign Bolivar, which removed five zeroes from banknotes. It is backed by a cryptocurrency, the Petro, that is pegged to the price of oil.
The government is also raising the minimum wage by 3,000 percent, raising taxes, and increasing petrol prices for some drivers.
How are Venezuelans reacting to the new measures?
Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom
Paul Dobson – journalist
Sonia Schott – Latin America analyst
Charles Shapiro – former US ambassador to Venezuela