Venezuela's Bolivar currency hit a record low 100 to the U.S. dollar on the black market on Friday, making the dollar 16 times more expensive than the strongest official rate, according to a website that tracks it.
From a lack of toilet paper that caused a stink, to a dearth of staple food items that left shoppers sucking salt, the Venezuelan people have been reeling under the blows of almost constant shortages for well over a year.
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has said he will travel to New York this week for his debut appearance as president at the United Nations General Assembly despite racist editorials against him in major US newspapers.
Venezuela’s populist government has quietly secured the backing of Latin America and the Caribbean to obtain a diplomatic trophy that long eluded the late Hugo Chavez: a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
The original Mercosur is over; it has been reduced to a political block with a three member board, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, according to Demetrio Magnoli a renowned Folha de Sao Paulo columnist who added that the 'political' Mercosur has helped the Alliance of the Pacific to advance.
Members of Venezuela's Socialist Party have rolled out a variation of the classic Christian “Lord's Prayer” to implore beloved late leader Hugo Chavez for protection from the evils of capitalism.
“Our Chavez who art in heaven, the earth, the sea and we delegates,” red-shirted delegate Maria Estrella Uribe recited at the PSUV party Congress.
Venezuela’s shipments of crude oil and fuel to its allies have fallen to a five-year low as a weak economy hits its ability to uphold accords that former president Hugo Chávez struck to lower energy costs for friends and expand his diplomatic clout.
Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA has started using China Citic Bank to collect money from crude and fuel sales instead of Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo, according to media reports in Caracas.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reminded the Venezuelan government that if it fails to settle debts with international airlines, the country would be isolated from the world; hence, the association urged Venezuela to reach agreements, and above all, to fulfill such agreements.
The United States is imposing travel restrictions on a number of Venezuelan officials. Washington did not specify how many people would be affected, but said those who have been responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses would not be welcome in the US.