10 pictures reveal the huge amounts of cash Venezuelans need to buy everyday things

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with a sign showing the value of a petro compared with the new Venezuelan currency, the sovereign bolívar, at a meeting with in Caracas, Venezuela.

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with a sign showing the value of a petro compared with the new Venezuelan currency, the sovereign bolívar, at a meeting with in Caracas, Venezuela.
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Reuters/Miraflores Palace/Handout

In a plan designed to tackle hyperinflation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced plans to raise his country’s minimum wage and create a single exchange rate pegged to his government’s petro-backed cryptocurrency, effectively devaluing the country’s currency by 96%, Reuters reported.

Venezuelans rushed to shops Friday to stock up on goods before the monetary overhaul – which will remove five zeros from prices – took effect.

Hyperinflation has meant piles of cash are needed to buy basic products. Images by Reuters show the daily realities of the crisis.


A kilogram of tomatoes costs about 5 million bolívars, or $0.76.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Shoppers rushed to stockpile food before the changes took effect Monday amid concerns that merchants might close and the banking system could be overtaxed.


A 2.4-kilogram chicken is pictured next to 14.6 million bolívars, or $2.22.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


A kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of carrots is pictured next to 3 million bolívars, or $0.46.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

“I came to buy vegetables, but I’m leaving because I’m not going to wait in this line,” Alicia Ramirez, 38, a business administrator, told Reuters while leaving a supermarket in the western city of Maracaibo. “People are going crazy.”


A roll of toilet paper is worth 2.6 million bolívars, or $0.40.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

“Venezuela needs big economic changes and we are going to do it ourselves,” Maduro said at a rally in May.


A 1-kilogram package of rice is pictured next to 2.5 million bolívars, or $0.38.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


A package of diapers is pictured next to 8 million bolívars, or $1.22.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Poor Venezuelans without bank accounts have for months been carrying wads of cash to make basic purchases. Inflation hit 82,700% in July as the country’s economy continued to suffer, Reuters reported.


A 1-kilogram package of corn flour is pictured next to 2.5 million bolívars, or $0.38.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


People walking past graffiti that says “Maduro, misery.”

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REUTERS/Marco Bello

President President Nicolas Maduro said economic war was being waged against Venezuela by adversaries, with wealthy business owners raising prices to put pressure on the socialist government. Such a phenomenon was seen in Salvador Allende’s Chile before the 1973 coup.

He said the new measures announced Friday would bring stability to the country.


People looking for products at a supermarket in Caracas.

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REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Empty supermarket shelves have become a common sight.

Maduro has declared a public holiday for Monday, when the new bills with lower denominations are scheduled to be introduced.


People shopping for vegetables and fruits at a stall in Caracas.

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REUTERS/Marco Bello

Since a decadelong oil boom, the decline of Venezuela has seen hundreds of thousands of citizens leave the country by bus across South America in one of the region’s worst migration crises.