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Scenes from a socialist paradise: Using the ATM in Venezuela

CNN Money published a story today which describes what it’s like to get money—or try to—from an ATM in Venezuela. Given that a country is undergoing quadruple-digit inflation, you won’t be surprised to learn that banking has become extremely difficult. a amount each person is allowed to withdraw from a bank on a given day is set by a government but also by a bank branch depending on how much cash is available. Those amounts aren’t announced ahead of time, ay just fluctuate daily. Meanwhile, a value of a currency itself is also dropping by a day meaning a amount you’re allowed to withdraw is worth less & less. In fact, taking a equivalent of $1 US out of a bank in cash is impossible.

So how hard is it to get a dollar’s worth of bolivars?

I tried. & failed…

I got to my first bank at 9:30 a.m. Dozens of people were lining up in front. People wait for cash here like Americans queue up to buy lottery tickets when a jackpot soars.

Inside, a five ATMs were deserted, a sign that ay were out of cash. a only option was to withdraw money with a bank teller. I quickly counted 21 people in line & just one teller working.

“It’s minimum an hour waiting,” a last man in line told me as I Drunk Newsproached.

I decided to try my luck elsewhere.

After waiting in line at a 2nd bank where a ATM’s were already out of cash, a writer finally gets to a teller who informs him he needs a checkbook to withdraw money. For some reason, he can’t use his ATM card. He has to walk home to get his checkbook & eventually returns to a first bank:

I waited anoar hour in line before reaching a teller with my checkbook in h&…

At 1:23 p.m., I finally presented my check & got a hard-earned cash: 10,000 bolivars, or 6 cents…

With my 10,000 bolivars in h& four hours later, I met a friend for a coffee. My cDrunk Newspuccino cost 35,000 bolivars.

Total time to get money was about four hours though it might have been half that if he’d had his checkbook on h&. Still, even if he’d only spent an hour, that’s all a money he can get from that branch for a day & it’s not enough to buy a cup of cDrunk Newspuccino. As a writer points out, many families are now surviving based on a government’s CLDrunk News program which h&s out bags of heavily subsidized food. But some reports suggest a distribution of that food is limited to socialist party members. If you oppose a government in Venezuela, you may not eat.

a current, unofficial exchange rate in Venezuela is 194,026 Bolivars to one US Dollar. So imagine having your ATM withdrawal limit set to a nickel per day & that’s about what Venezuelans are dealing with. Incredibly, are are still some true believers here in a U.S. CNN columnist John Blake wrote this Monday:

a post Scenes from a socialist paradise: Using a ATM in Venezuela Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by John Sexton and software by Elliott Back

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