The leader of Venezuela’s socialist regime, Nicolás Maduro, announced late last week a new series of sweeping reforms aimed at reducing inflation and improving the quality of life in the besieged nation. According to Reuters, Maduro’s plan includes a minimum wage increase of 3000 percent and new taxes.
Maduro is hoping to invest the money gained from the new taxes in the Petro, the Venezuelan government’s new cryptocurrency. According to Bloomberg, the Maduro regime stated on Friday that it “values the Petro at 3,600 sovereign bolivars,” worth $.014, and that it plans to allow “the cryptocurrency to fluctuate.”
The cornerstone of Maduro’s economic reform package is the reduction of prices for all good in the country. Effective Monday, all prices have been cut by “five zeros.” This move has the effect of essentially devaluing the bolivar by about “95 percent.”
While President Maduro claims the new reforms and the country’s investment in cryptocurrency will bring economic prosperity, most Venezuelans still living under Socialist rule are only concerned with getting by day to day.
“What worries me is how we’ll eat, the truth is that the way things are going, I really don’t know,” said Betzabeth Linares, a 47-year-old resident of Valencia while speaking to Reuters.
While people like Linares try to make the best of things at home, tens of thousands of other Venezuelans have fled across the country’s border into Colombia and Brazil, triggering anger from the neighboring countries.
Earlier Monday, Brazilian officials told reporters that the inrush of Venezuelans has inundated the social service infrastructure and led to a rise in crime. According to Reuters, government officials of Roraima, a Brazilian state that sits on the border with Venezuela, asked the Brazilian supreme court to “halt the entry of Venezuelan immigrants,” as the state struggles to control the growing humanitarian crisis.