Assassination attempt, hyperinflation top Venezuela headlines

By August 7, 2018
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Venezuela (MNN) — An attempt on the life of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro failed this weekend when the military intercepted two drones loaded with explosives. As described here, two explosions occurred near where Maduro stood addressing crowds at a military event in the capital city. No one was injured.

This assassination attempt comes days after news that Venezuela’s hyperinflation rate is expected to reach one million percent by year’s end.

“We are projecting a surge in inflation to 1,000,000 percent by end-2018 to signal that the situation in Venezuela is similar to that in Germany in 1923 or Zimbabwe in the late 2000’s,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated recently on its blog.  As the value of Venezuela’s bolívare drops to record lows, it places new worth on stable currencies like the U.S. dollar.

“Those receiving dollars have access to money that stays stable in value, but those who depend on bolívares have seen their purchasing power reduced by nearly 90 percent in the past year,” Asdrubal Oliveros told the Washington Post. Oliveros is the director of the Caracas-based consulting firm Ecoanalítica.

“They are condemned to aggressive, devastating impoverishment.”

Though the U.S. dollar is a lifeline for many Venezuelans, Trans World Radio’s Steve Shantz says this situation puts ministries like TWR in a difficult position.

1 U.S. Dollar equals approximately 172,455.00 Venezuelan Bolívars
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“People are sending money into the country and they (Venezuelans) are exchanging it on the black market,” Shantz shares.

“Many people are only surviving because family members have left the country and are sending dollars back into Venezuela.”

When ministries like TWR consider sending financial support to Gospel workers in Venezuela, they face a challenging dilemma.

“Do you get a very poor exchange rate and therefore don’t get the full value of the dollars that you would send there? Or, do you ask a ministry to do something that’s illegal?”

The situation in Venezuela has been unraveling for years, but seems to have reached “critical mass” of late. One after another, public services are shutting down and essential supplies are running out.

Desperate situations like this call for immediate action.

“It’s a matter of going to the Lord and asking the Lord to do something to intervene,” says Shantz.

“I think prayer is the only thing we can do here. It’s going to the Lord and asking Him to do something because, humanly, we don’t have any effect on that situation.”

Please ask the Lord to intervene in Venezuela’s crisis. Pray endurance for believers, ministries, and churches operating in Venezuela. Pray the desperation of this situation will draw many to Christ.

Learn more about TWR’s work in Venezuela here.

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