Move to re-write Venezuelan constitution amid planned protests

Sixty people have died and around 1,000 people have been wounded since April 1, when opponents of President Nicolas Maduro intensified their attempts to remove him from power, according to government figures.

Move to re-write Venezuelan constitution amid planned protests

World Bulletin / News Desk

Venezuela's opposition called for weekend protests as Thursday's deadline neared for candidates for an assembly to re-write the constitution -- a gathering opponents slam as a naked power grab by the leftist government.

The massive protests have been fueled by soaring inflation and shortages of food and medicine, a result of Venezuela's economic collapse driven by the fall in prices for its crucial oil exports since 2014.

In an attempt to stabilize its foreign exchange market, the government on Wednesday devalued its currency, the Bolivar, by 64 percent.

Under the overhauled official exchange system, the government let investors bid for US dollars at a new higher rate in what Maduro said was an effort to undermine the black market.

The rate of 2,010 Bolivars per dollar represents a sharp devaluation compared to 721 bolivars under the previous system, but is still far below the black market rate, currently around 6,000 bolivars per dollar.

The central bank sold $24 million overall, mostly to companies importing foreign goods.

"The amount assigned was laughable. It shows the lack of currency," economist Jesus Casique told AFP.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2017, 14:57
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