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Mariana Gordon
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In Venezuela, soaring crime and economic chaos are sending the country's schools into neglect and despair.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Maria Arias slipped her notebooks into her backpack, scrounged for a banana to share with her brother and sister, and set off for high school through narrow streets so violent taxis will not come…
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#Venezuela selling #gold reserves as economy worsens: #Moneymatters #Gold #Oil #Forex #Currency

Venezuela’s gold reserves have plunged to their lowest level on record after it sold $1.7bn of the precious metal in the first quarter of the year to repay debts. The country is grappling with an economic crisis that has left it struggling to feed its population.

The Opec member’s gold reserves have dropped almost a third over the past year and it sold over 40 tonnes in February and March, according to IMF data. Gold now makes up almost 70 per cent of the country’s total reserves, which fell to a low of $12.1bn last week.

Venezuela has larger crude reserves than Saudi Arabia but has been hard hit by years of mismanagement and, more recently, depressed prices for oil. Oil accounts for 95 per cent of its export earnings. Despite the recent price rebound, declining oil output is likely to take a further toll on the economy.

The IMF forecasts the economy will shrink 8 per cent this year, and 4.5 per cent in 2017, after a 5.7 per cent contraction in 2015. Inflation is forecast to exceed 1,642 per cent next year, fuelled by printing money to fund a fiscal deficit estimated at about 17 per cent of gross domestic product.

Venezuela began selling its gold reserves in March 2015, according to IMF data. At roughly 367 tonnes, Venezuela has the world’s 16th-biggest gold reserves, according to the World Gold Council. In contrast, China and Russia both added to their gold holdings this year, the data show.

Gold prices have risen 15 per cent this year. Last year Venezuela’s central bank swapped part of its gold reserves for $1bn in cash through a complex agreement with Citi.
The late president Hugo Chávez had said he would free Venezuela from the “dictatorship of the dollar” and directed the central bank to ditch the US dollar and start amassing gold instead. In 2011, as a safeguard against market instability, Chávez brought most of the gold stored overseas back to Caracas.

The gold swap is another indication the country is desperate for cash. Venezuela and its national oil company PDVSA have some $6bn to repay in principal and interest payments this year, according to Russ Dallen of investment bank Caracas Capital Markets. Amid fears of default, PDVSA is attempting to restructure some of its debt, sources say.

Seeking to reassure investors this month, Miguel Pérez Abad, Venezuela’s economic tsar, told news agencies that the country has reached a deal with its main financier China to extend loans, and that he would further cut imports — even if shortages of basic goods are ravaging the country.

“We have a cash flow problem, but we have sufficient assets for the short-term and will reprofile the debt levels in an intelligent manner. There are various scenarios, and all of the proposals are extraordinary for the bondholders. They have the absolute assurance that their securities are guaranteed,” Mr Pérez Abad told Bloomberg. Ecoanalítica, a Caracas-based consultancy, said in a note that “we consider that the payments of external debt is a priority for the executive”.

Courtesy of Andres Chipani & Henry Sanderson over at The FT
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Fotos|Así capturaron a otros dos “choros bachacos” en Baruta

Funcionarios de la Dirección contra la Economía Criminal de la Policía Nacional Bolivariana (PNB) apresaron a dos criminales del “bachaqueo”, que vendían cupos y artículos de primera necesidad con sobreprecio en el estado Miranda.
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How Venezuela’s socialist dream collapsed into a nightmare - Vox
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Lover of this beautiful messy experience we call life! #happy #life #wife #mommy #zen #rn #spiritual #goldenretrievermom
We are a regular family...most of the time ;) Dennis and I have been married for 20 years. We live, love and laugh together. We have 3 amazing kids. Kayla is 20, Kassidy is 15 and Turner is 7. When you live in the craziness we call life you will definitely have some ups and downs but loving each other and tons of prayers (and cuddling our MJ) helps us get through anything!
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Miami - Venezuela - Arizona
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I don't know what happened to the old Frontier but this place has gone downhill! The prices are ridiculous for what they serve. Hamburger had a patty and cheese-nothing else. The ribs were not moist. Handful of fries. The steak salad on the menu said including cheese- all it had was lettuce tomato and mediocre steak. The tea tastes like it had been sitting for 3 days. The front area smelled like bathroom. There is a disconnect between the prices and the quality. I don't know how they stay in business. Terrible. Will never go back!
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Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Amazing food!! Lovely owner! One of my new favorite places! 💛💙❤️
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Lovely!!! One of my favorites!
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Their staff is new every time I go in there. I was there last week and it took 3 girls 20 min to do 3 sandwiches. They never have soup or something when you ask for it. They asked me what I wanted on my sandwich 5 times...a joke! Management needs to revamp!
Food: GoodDecor: Poor - FairService: Poor - Fair
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
8 reviews
Fun and relaxing spot with good music and good food!
Atmosphere: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Food is not good...No flavor...very boring! Taco Bell tastes better!
Atmosphere: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Good
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
The principal cares very much about the school, its students and staff. My daughter excelled there in academics as well as sports. The teachers are wonderful and are eager to help the children learn. The administration has always been professional and courteous. My other daughter will start middle school and there was never a question of where she would attend!
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago