Photo: Venezuelan Bolivar


Joanna Andreasson

Shoppers in Venezuela needed a stack of 9.5 million bolívar fuertes—equal to just $1.45 U.S.—to buy one kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of steak earlier this year. In summer 2018, the socialist-run country was experiencing an inflation rate of nearly 100,000 percent, leading President Nicolás Maduro to introduce a new currency: the bolí­var soberano. (Each new bill is worth 1,000 fuertes.) Maduro has yet to figure out how to fix the other problem with shopping in Venezuela: The country's shattered economy has left many stores nearly empty, making it all but impossible to purchase basic goods for any amount of cash.

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  1. A two-pound steak for a buck and a half? That proves we need socialism here.

    1. Eating steak is bad for the environment, bad for your health, and violates the basic human rights of the cow. So it shouldn’t be available at all.

    2. But almost no one has 9.5 million bongobucks, and only 10 lbs of steak are produced each month.


  2. Lies! Lies spread by the KKKochtopus! Comrades, do not heed the propaganda of evil men! Steak is plentiful and free in the Socialist Paradise!

  3. Socialism has created created a whole country of millionaires.

  4. Even though socialism has failed everywhere that it has been tried, it WOULD work here in the USA, because WE are SPECIAL!!! WE could make it WORK, if only we put the RIGHT PEOPLE (like MEEEE) in charge!!!!

    SQRLS for Pearls (of wisdom is implied) will be my slogan! Many chickens in every pot, and many pearl necklaces around every neck!

    1. Chicken in every pot, and pot for every chicken!

      1. Does pot affect chickens? What do stoned chickens behave like?

  5. I checked the exchange rate right after reading this, and it came out around 1 USD = 10 VEF, which seems to have been a steady rate for at least the past 10 months. I checked multiple sources (,,, and based on my findings I susoect that something is amiss with Reason’s reporting. Either the equivalent price per kg of steak in USD is significantly higher, or Venezuelans are not having to use wheelbarrows to transport their cash after all. What gives, Reason? Is there something here I don’t understand? You’re usually pretty good when it comes to objective, verifiable data.

    1. That is the government exchange rate. The market rate is about 1 USD = 248,000 VEF.

      1. Thanks. I’d like to learn more about this. I dun goofed.

        1. From

          On May 2017, the government of Venezuela changed their multi-tier Venezuelan official exchange rate system, as announced by the government on March 2016.

          “Essential” goods are exchanged at a fixed mid-market rate of 9.9875 VEF/USD. This rate is called the “DIPRO”. The Venezuelan government decides what “essential” goods qualify for this rate. They include imports for sectors related to food and medicine but also some oil sector companies.

          Imports designated by the government as “non-essential” are subjected to a new system called “DICOM”, where the rate is intended to vary over time. On November 7th, 2017, the mid-market rate of the DICOM system was 3,340.819 VEF/USD. DICOM rates are published by the Venezuelan central bank under TIPO DE CAMBIO here: or here:

          Due to the high rate of inflation in Venezuela over the last few years, there is a high demand in the market for US Dollars (USD). However, official access to US Dollars in Venezuela is limited, which has resulted in a third (unofficial) black market exchange rate valued at around 40,000 VEF/USD (November 2017). The black-market rate has increased rapidly over the last year (January 2016: 833, June 2016: 997, January 2017: 3164, June 2017: 6112).

          The situation in Venezuela is evolving rapidly, and XE only carries the DIPRO rate on the website and in our apps.

  6. “City dwellers in the next decade could fly from Lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport in less than 10 minutes. Chicago families could escape the summer heat and shuttle above Lake Michigan to Indiana beaches in less than half an hour.”
    TUNEL Apoptosis Assay (Fluorescent)

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