What is a dollar worth? Depends on who you know

MARCOS-TORRES-NELSON-MERENTES-2-900x600Venezuela today has four different prices for the dollar – three of them official, one of them not.

For basic imports (chavista code for “available only to Godgiven and his cronies”) a dollar costs BsF 6.3.

For not-so-basic imports and for traveling (chavista code for “let’s throw a bone to the middle classes so they won’t overthrow us just yet”) a dollar is worth BsF 12.

For everybody else, the “free market” for the dollar (chavista code for “the only one people such as multinationals or airlines or ordinary Venezuelans will have access to”) a dollar costs a whopping BsF 170. Well, BsF 170.03 (yeah, that’s 3 céntimos, which don’t even exist). That was the opening price today.

Then, there is the black market. For you see the third rate above – called the SIMADI rate – is not unrestricted. People are limited in terms of the amount of dollars they can purchase. The black market rate, though, is BsF 189.55.

Make of it what you will…

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