Things in Venezuela May Have Hit Rock Bottom

The Background 

After thousands took to the streets in April to protest the government and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s bill that expanded his powers and dissolved the country’s general assembly, we thought things couldn’t get worse—but they have. Inflation has increased 700% and food and medical shortages have made just surviving in the country damn near impossible. Citizens who used to live fairly well have been forced to give up simple luxuries (think enough toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day, bus fare and juice) and are now struggling just to stay afloat. Washington Post

What Else You Need to Know

The anti-government protests haven’t stopped, and at least 75 people have died in the demonstrations. To try and fight the poverty situation in his country, President Nicolas Maduro raised the minimum wage on July 1 for the 16th time since 2013 (the third time this year) by 20%. While that might seem like good news, these increases are actually making life worse for most Venezuelans since they just generate more inflation. With a falling currency that’s forcing inflation to sky-high levels, the average Venezuelan is now only taking home $33 per month.

What’s Next? 

It doesn’t look like Venezuela can fix this problem on its own. The international community is going to have to step in to slow the inflation and help stabilize the country’s economy.