Many Venezuelans under the socialist Maduro regime have reverted back to a bartering system to acquire food and medicine because the Venezuelan bolívar inflation rate has increased to 40,000 percent.
As Venezuelan cash becomes next-to-worthless, more and more notes are required to complete even the smallest transactions, resulting in a shortage of available cash.
“There is no cash here, only barter,” said one Venezuelan citizen who was looking to trade her recently caught fish for epilepsy medicine while speaking to Reuters.
Although citizens with debit cards are able to buy goods using digital banking, a large portion of the country lacks the infrastructure necessary to facilitate online financial services.
The prevalence of barter economies is a symptom of Venezuela’s collapsing society. In addition to high inflation rates, many Venezuelans lack access to medical services, and a report issued from the United Nations details large-scale human rights abuses committed by the Maduro regime against its own citizens.
According to a Business Insider report last Friday, the inflation rate in the South American country has hit a high of 41,838 percent. Economists, however, are finding it difficult to accurately analyze Venezuela’s economy because the Maduro regime no longer releases financial data.