- 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.
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.
A kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of carrots is pictured next to 3 million bolívars, or $0.46.
“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.
“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.
A package of diapers is pictured next to 8 million bolívars, or $1.22.
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.
People walking past graffiti that says “Maduro, misery.”
- 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.
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.
- 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.