International: Venezuela in turmoil

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Last Tuesday, August 21, Venezuela suffered two massive shocks. The first concerns the recovery program of the government of Nicolas Maduro and the second is more natural but just as hard to take, an earthquake of magnitude 7.3. 

Last Tuesday, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3, according to the local seismology institute and 7.3 according to the American institute of geophysics, hit Venezuela. Registered in the State of Sucre, the epicenter is located 400 KM from Caracas where the buildings trembled despite the distance. The shock was even felt as far as Guyana. According to local information, there are no victims or damage to be deplored. The earthquake occurred at the end of a busy day since President Maduro announced that morning a phenomenal devaluation of the currency, the "sovereign" Bolivar. To compensate for this record devaluation of 96%, the government plans to raise wages by around 3400%. Analysts say the Venezuelan government's program is "surreal" and expected inflation is around 1000%. These measures, decided by President Maduro, constitute an attempt to respond to the financial sanctions adopted by Washington. Let us only hope that the population manages to extricate itself unscathed from this cataclysmic day. _NB

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