Venezuela: US Dollar Surpasses 400,000 Bolivars


Inflation in Venezuela reaches 67% for March alone.

Line at a Venezulean bank to take out the small amount allowed. File photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — The Venezuelan National Assembly’s Finance Commission, said on Wednesday that inflation reached 67% for March, with the year inflation rate now up to 8,878%.

Congressman Rafael Guzman announced that inflation compounded to 453.7% in the first trimester of 2018, according to estimates made by the legislative body, which has been stripped of its legislative capacity by the Maduro government and his Constituent Assembly.

“This means that the financial crisis has overwhelmed the Government. The Government isn’t interested in putting the brakes on inflation in order to help the Venezuelan people recover their purchasing power. We continue living with hyperinflation and there aren’t any government policies to stop it,” said Guzman at a press conference.

Every month, the Finance Commission independently measures inflation, in the face of Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) refusing to publish official figures over the past three years.

Guzman pointed out the fact that prices of consumer goods change every day and that the Government is encouraging more inflation by issuing money without any backing to finance the coupons it gives out to different social sectors.

“The Government continue to issues money inorganically,” the legislator said, who showed a huge wad of bills that represent the equivalent of one USD on the black market, where national currency is exchanged at over 400,000 bolivars.

“The only solution to the crisis we are living is to end currency controls (in force since 2003),” he added.

Meanwhile, Guzman criticized the Government’s project to remove the last three zeros off the bolivar as of June 4th, which will mean that the new “hard bolivar” will become the local currency, and it doesn’t have an anti-inflation plan to back it up.

“They won’t be able to do this business of taking three zeros off the bolivar in the short time they’ve given themselves, plus there isn’t any plan to tackle inflation to accompany this measure,” he stressed.

The government has said that cutting off three zeros will help to simplify daily transactions, which have been affected by hyperinflation since last year. In recent months, a severe lack of paper money has also plagued the population.