Latin American countries turn to Amazon for Latin American aid
12/15/2017 09:24:58 President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has called on the world to use its vast digital assets to help him curb inflation.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, he said it was time for Latin America to step up its own efforts to tackle the continent’s economic challenges.
Venezuela’s government has been struggling to contain soaring inflation rates and a rising number of food shortages, a key demand of the International Monetary Fund.
The Maduro administration is struggling to make good on a promise to increase exports to Latin America’s biggest export market.
A surge in food prices in Venezuela’s major cities has prompted millions of people to turn to the black market, where they pay up to $2 a kilo (7.7 pounds) for imported food.
Maduro has said that food prices will soon reach $8 a kilogram (19 pounds), a figure that has prompted calls for the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide the country with the financial help it needs.
The government has also sought to use social media to push the public to buy more food and cut back on consumption.
Maduro also said that the world must help him fight the “dictatorship of capital”.
The World Economic Forum, an economic think-tank based in Davos, Switzerland, says that Maduro is the world’s most powerful leader, with over 10 million followers on Twitter and nearly 10 million Facebook fans.
The president has used social media, which is heavily censored in Venezuela, to boost his image as a strongman who wields the “full force of the state” and is a leader who is ready to use force to maintain power.
Maduro, who has made a name for himself as an economic reformer, has been in power since 2003.
The world is expected to give Maduro $30 billion in aid in 2017, a sum that has been steadily rising over the past decade.
Venezuela is among the poorest countries in the Americas, ranking as the second poorest in Latin America and the Caribbean, after Honduras.
The WFP is a United Nations-backed development agency which provides loans to countries affected by disasters, hunger and poverty.
It is also responsible for delivering emergency assistance to millions of Venezuelan people.
The United States and the European Union have pledged to provide $15 billion in assistance.