Hunger has become a plague in the Caribbean country. President Nicolás Maduro, too busy to satisfy the military and repress the opposition, has forgotten that a population with an empty stomach is an even more fearsome enemy. Yesterday an agent of the Bolivarian National Guard was arrested for killing an 18-year-old woman who was 25 months pregnant, when he opened fire during a distribution of pork legs (the traditional ham that the government delivers at Christmas) and will be accused of homicide, as announced the attorney general, Tarek William Saab. The young woman was part of a group of people who, according to the police, “turned violent”, a situation that the National Guard had tried to calm down until then.
Venezuela has lived through this Christmas numerous spontaneous protests against the failure to offer ham by the Chavista regime at a subsidized price to more than six million families.
The oil country is going through the worst economic and social crisis in its history, and millions of Venezuelans depend, to eat, on the subsidized food scheme that the government has created. In the middle of this “hurricane”, President Maduro raised the minimum wage by 40%, from 177,507 bolivars to 248,510 bolivars, seven dollars at the parallel exchange rate. It is the seventh increase in the last twelve months. The Venezuelan president also decreed an increase of almost double the food voucher known as “cestatícket” “for the protection of the right to food” of the people, he explained.
Venezuela continues to break negative records and close 2017 with an accumulated inflation of over 2,735%, according to calculations published this weekend by private consultants, since the Government does not publish actual inflation figures. According to some economic analysts, the causes of hyperinflation are the uncontrolled injection of money into the system and the fall in the production of goods, which leads to an imbalance between the abundance of money and the scarcity of supply of products.
Since coming to power in 1999, Chavismo has raised the minimum wage more than 40 times, while thousands of Venezuelan companies were nationalized or closed their doors due to economic policies. The Chavista regime speaks of “induced inflation” by the United States, the international financial system and the opposition.