Further Evidence of Venezuela's Economy in Decline
Venezuelan crude sales to the United States declined 8.3 percent in April compared with the same month of 2015, due to delays at the state-owned oil company PDVSA's main ports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows and vessel tracking data. A wider study by energy consultant IPD Latin America says that Venezuela’s oil production dropped across all regions in the first quarter for the first time since 2008.
Meanwhile, in an extraordinary incident, six members of the Venezuelan military were reportedly detained by local authorities for stealing goats. The soldiers apparently confessed, saying they did it to feed themselves since they had no food left in their barracks.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Mark Weisbrot suggests that the Venezuelan government can take steps to reform the economy. He says they should adopt a floating exchange rate, with the black market rate around 100 times the current official rate of exchange. In addition, he suggests that Venezuela sells oil which will not be pumped until years from now, in order to raise funds to diversify the economy.