Remember the big show the government put on to bring home the nation's gold reserves? Yup, they've started selling those now.

Let’s face it, the moment we saw Chávez frolicking around the National Assembly fondling his gold bars, we knew this day would come:

In a sign of how Venezuela is growing increasingly desperate to acquire hard currency, a report released this week showed the country has been stepping up its sales of gold.

The value of the central bank’s bullion holdings fell 28 percent at the end of May from a year earlier, while the spot price for the metal declined just 12 percent. The figures, while reflecting transactions that took place five months ago, underscore the efforts the government is taking to raise the cash to repay creditors and fund imports amid a punishing recession, inflation exceeding 100 percent and a collapse in the price of its main export, oil.

Bloomberg has the whole gory story.

CNN has some added detail: