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The human cost of US ‘economic war' on Venezuela: Hyperinflation hits 130,000% last year

The human cost of US ‘economic war' on Venezuela: Hyperinflation hits 130,000% last year
Venezuela’s inflation has been soaring dramatically and reached 130,060 percent in 2018, the country’s central bank said in its first report on key economic indicators since 2015.

The latest data from the watchdog released on Tuesday means that an item that cost 1 bolivar in 2017, cost 1,300 bolivares a year later. Even compared to the huge inflation spike in 2017 of 862.6 percent, last year was disastrous for the country's economy.

Venezuela’s central bank published its previous report three years ago. Before the latest release, inflation data and forecasts were published by the opposition-controlled National Assembly and some international organizations. For example, the International Monetary Fund projected an inflation of over 10 million percent for this and next year.

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The economy of the sanctions-hit Bolivarian Republic shrunk by 47.7 percent in the five years since 2013, with the country’s GDP having lost 22.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018.

Oil exports, accounting for around 90 percent of the country’s revenues, plummeted to $29.8 billion in 2018, down from $85.6 billion in 2013 and $71.7 billion in 2014, when oil prices dropped triggering the collapse of the nation’s economy. Apart from its domestic economic crisis, US sanctions against Venezuela’s energy sector have also contributed greatly to the financial losses as last year’s crude exports dropped 5.6 percent.

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Washington has been mounting its sanctions pressure on Caracas and was the first to back opposition leader Juan Guaido, who called for the ousting of elected President Nicolas Maduro. Earlier this month, Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia, said that the barrage of Washington’s restrictions has cost the Latin American country $130 billion since 2015.

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