It has been predicted by expert Danilo Diaz Granados that Venezuela could reach a “total economic collapse” within the next 12 to 18 months. The International Monetary Report revealed that the country is expected to enter a state of hyperinflation, reaching levels of an astounding 720%, making the country’s inflation rate the highest in the world.
The Miami Herald reported that the country’s economy is in such a state of panic that “thieves are not stealing local currency, but are instead hunting out U.S. dollars.” It was reported earlier in April that President Maduro would make adjustments to the government’s required weekly work schedule and change the time zone to help conserve electricity. Reports of brownouts began nearly two years ago, shortly after Maduro took office. Due to drought, the country’s hydro-powered energy sources have decreaesed output, resulting in even more shortages in electricity.
The citizens of Venezuela are suffering greatly in other ways as well. Store shelves that were once stocked multiple times a week now lie empty. Most stores receive sporadic shipments. The Wall Street Journal reported in October 2014, fingerprint scanners were installed at grocery stores in order to ensure fair food rationing. Photographs in the article show store shelves stocked to the hilt, a far cry from grocery shopping in Venezuela in March 2016. Other necessities have been rationed as well, such as electricity, toilet paper, and running water. The same article notes that running water is being cut off to homes, sometimes for more than 100 hours per week.