Hyperinflation in Venezuela - merchants are weighing, not counting, currency


I don’t think the stats support the idea that Venezuela was fine in 1999.

The poverty rate fell to a little less than half of what it was during the bulk of Chavez’ personal rule (54% to 26%). Infant mortality fell by a third. Educational enrollment went way up. “Extreme poverty” fell from 23% to 8%.

Venezuela wasn’t the worst country to live in in 1999, but a pretty extreme guy like Chavez did not get elected because everything was fine.

His policies appear to have failed in the long run, which doesn’t surprise me, but the previous polices were failing at least half of the people pretty badly.


I’m sure you’re right, as you said, people don’t elect a guy like Chavez (or Trump) if things are going swimmingly. Maybe nostalgia colors my memory of Venezuela, but to me it was not all that bad and i would have been happy living there given the chance. I was in the middle class but not exactly well off, and all of my extended family were in similar living situations despite having all come from barrios.

Anyway, as far as where Venezuela is right now i’m at a loss. Things could not be worse and i don’t know what it’ll take for meaningful change to happen, i’ve been waiting for just over a decade.


Rule of thumb: Never elect a person who as previously attempted a coup. No good can come of it.


No, sorry, no.

I was born in Venezuela. I left when Chávez was elected - it was clear to me what was going to happen.

The fault is not at “the previous regime” (which by the way, was not a regime, was a democracy with alternating governments of 2 parties". Their fault was to become as corrupt and incompetent as to drive the country into a position where many flocked to Chávez

But the current collapse of the country? Is Chávez and his people fault. They have been in powers for years, they could have fixed the country, and all they did was just repeat the same mistakes multiplied by 1000 and add a layer of hatred, conflict and repression.

They had years, and one of the biggest oil booms, to fix the country. They drove it to where it is now, and keep doing it. Is their fault.


The country was in a very bad situation… at the time. I mean, you compare it with today and is kinda ridiculous, but at the time it was a shock.

But the interesting thing is that apart from a lot of bonehead and stupid moves from Chavez and company and the destruction of democracy they have been slowly going for in all their years in power… they have just done exactly the same as the previous governments.

Venezuela pre-Chávez: inmense oil-boom causes distorsion as the governments start spending money like crazy, then oil prices contraction mean you end up with a bunch of debt there is no way in hell to pay so it needs drastic readjustments measures that of course make the population even poorer

Venezuela with Chávez: inmense oil boom causes distorton as the government starts spending money EVEN more crazy that before, then the oil price contraction means you end up with a bunch of debt, not to mention a bunch of imports you cant no longer pay for because of course you destroyed national industry, which leaves the people even poorer.

The revolution was revolutionary only in the sense that it did the same as before but in a greater scale, and that it has been working hard to get rid of any of the democratic features of the previous system.


BTW, the problematic, but only, indicator of the black market rate, DolarToday, was at 1700 bolivares per $ less than a month ago

Today it is a 3982


It was better. It had a lot of problems, and poverty, but it was better.

And there was the hope of fixing stuff.

Right now, I dont really see any hope for the country. I just read the news waiting for the moment they change from stories of degeneration into an actual total collapse.


Frankly… imagine a Donald Trump raised on Marxism, but with the same grasp of anything as Donald Trump.

Thats Chavismo in a nutshell. They implement Marxists ideas (and not precisely any modern ones, but looking at Cuba as role model) with the subtetly and understanding and capacity for self-reflection of a Trump with a red beret.


The cash offices of most American big chain stores have been weighing currency, rather than counting it, for at least the last couple decades. Because it’s more efficient.


But that is total sales of the shop. At the rate things are going (today the black market rate of a dollar is about 4500 bolívares), and with the low denomination of the bills, any individual transaction is a big pile of paper.

They are talking about introducing 500 and 1000 bills, but right now the biggest one is 100. So imagine buying something at black market rates that is 100$. Thats 4500 bills of 100 bolivares,

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