VENEZUELA, Venezuela — Venezuela’s economy is slowing and inflation has risen sharply, a sign that the country’s economic and political crisis is worsening, analysts said.
The country’s benchmark currency, the bolivar, lost nearly half its value last month, and many Venezuelans are struggling to pay the soaring prices of basic goods, including food, medicine and toilet paper, they said.
The price of basic food has more than doubled in the past month and many are spending more on toilet paper.
The government blames the economic crisis on the U.S.-backed opposition and Western sanctions imposed over the past two years that have hurt the oil-rich country’s exports and weakened its currency.
Peter Shumlin said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that the opposition has used the crisis to divert attention from their own problems.
He said Venezuelans must not get complacent because they are the ones that need to protect themselves.
We need to take a deep look at ourselves and what’s going on, and see how we can move forward in this very important moment.
Since the start of this crisis, Venezuelans have been suffering under an economic collapse and have struggled to get by.
The economy shrank by more than 20 percent in the third quarter, and inflation hit 8.6 percent, the highest in 20 years.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly blamed the U, U.N. sanctions and a lack of foreign investment for the economic and social crisis.
Maduro has been criticized by the U., Europe and the U-N.
for not doing enough to help the country, where the average monthly salary is about $1,300.
The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions against Venezuela last year and this year.
The U.K., France and Germany imposed economic sanctions on Maduro in December over his policies.
The sanctions also affected Venezuela’s oil exports.
The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela in September after Maduro’s government tried to seize control of the country by force, triggering a civil war.
Maduro has rejected the U.-S.
accusation that he orchestrated the violence.
In the latest crisis, Maduro said he was suspending the countrys trade with the U and U.NA and was considering a trade deal with China.
The two sides have not met in person since then, according to a statement from the government.