A failed political experiment leaves behind a country that relies on benefits and burns for freedom.
What is going on in the country that holds the largest oil reserves in the world? May Day week provided a good picture of the populist experiment born in the wake of the oil boom. On 30 April, yet another energysaving ‘day off’, families rushed to try to buy products such as milk, chicken and diapers that require long hours of research and queuing. The following day at the official rally of thousands of state employees fearful of losing their jobs if they did not attend, President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30% minimum wage hike. In another square, the ‘unofficial’ unions were asking for a 100% increase to compensate for the highest inflation in the world.
According to the economic think tank Ecoanalitica, adding black market inflation to the official rate of 68% raises the real inflation rate of 2014 to 120%, and it could reach 250% in 2015.