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Venezuela Almost Down to Its Last $10bn 

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Editor’s Remarks:
Venezuela has just $10.6bn left in foreign exchange reserves, according to the latest data from its central bank. Though this amount of hard currency is by no means abysmal compared to many countries – it now ranks about 70th out of the 188 countries with reliable data, just below Serbia – it could very soon becoming crippling for the South American republic given that it owes about $7.2bn in outstanding debt payments for the rest of this year. Furthermore, many economies get by with small but stable levels of foreign reserves, but Venezuela’s plunging levels combined with the creeping possibility of stagnant oil prices mean that Caracas is inching towards a default. Last year, in fact, it had to repay some debts by shipping gold to Switzerland. Low oil prices (which are half of what they were in 2014) are troubling for the nation given that oil shipments make up 90% of all its exports. Its inability to pay debts and import food and other essentials as a result of all this are particularly concerning for citizens facing massive shortages and massive inflation, forecast to hit 1660% this year.

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