Tue Aug 13, 2019, 07:08 PM

Venezuelas Moribund Economy Shows A Pulse Amid US Sanctions


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Errol Irausquin is carving out a profitable niche with his burgeoning Fat Panda restaurant business in Venezuela’s capital, despite an economic collapse that has driven millions from their crumbling homeland.

Capitalizing on his success selling from a food truck, Irausquin brought his Asian-influenced menu to a new restaurant featuring spicy sandwiches that drip down customers’ arms in an upscale corner of Caracas. A second location is coming soon — the sign of a little froth amid Venezuela’s otherwise economic nightmare.

“Part of the population decided to stay here in the country,” Irausquin said. “People need things to do. They crave going out and mingling in the open air.”

He’s not alone. In seeming defiance of the doomsday predictions from Washington about the economy’s impending implosion, a number of trendy restaurants and shops packed with imported consumer goods, from Froot Loops to iPhones, have popped up in the last few months across Caracas.

Driving the resurgence is President Nicolas Maduro’s decision in May — little appreciated at the time — to loosen rigid currency controls in place for 16 years. That step allowed banks to buy and sell U.S. dollars at any exchange rate, making it far easier for entrepreneurs to operate in a currency accepted internationally. At the same time, socialist authorities are looking the other way as the greenback has replaced the worthless local currency, the bolivar, as an accepted form of payment for purchasing even a slice of pizza.


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Reply Venezuelas Moribund Economy Shows A Pulse Amid US Sanctions (Original post)
RCW2014 Aug 2019 OP
Carlos W Bush Aug 2019 #1

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Aug 13, 2019, 07:11 PM

1. Looks like they're not getting the hint.

Time to hit 'em with more sanctions.

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