Government workers have had their working hours slashed by 50% Tens of thousands of factory workers have been laid-off as foreign companies close factory's as they are uncompetitive and others have closed because of a lack of raw materials. Inflation is running wild (the highest in the world) and some estimates put it at around 100%, the central bank that used to provide figures every month have failed to supply any figures so far this year, but the last figures from December 2014 put the rate then at 69%. Some financial experts are predicting the inflation rate to reach 200% by the end of this year (other have said as much as 250%). The Bolivar (the Venezuelan currency) is in free fall and has dropped by 30% in the last month. The exchange rate is complicated as there are 3 different official rates, the tier-one rate for priority imports is around 6.9 to the Dollar (not available to most Venezuelans) they get the open-market rate and that was around 400 to the Dollar last weekend. The government has put up the minimum wage up by around 30% bring the minimum wage to around 7,325 Bolivars a month, but the purchasing power of that wage in the shops has decreased massively pushing millions in to further poverty. (Using the tier-one rate for the minimum wage, it should mean everyone on that wage would be getting the equivalent of $1,162, but only $30 a month if one uses the open-market rate, which is the rate used to set the price of many imported foods and other imported goods as the US Dollar is the currency imported good are paid for). Now many Latin American leaders and politicians who have been supporting Venezuela economically and political are losing patience with Maduro and his government as they lock up more and more of their political opponents, over 70 at the last count. Many leaders and politicians from across Latin America have in the past themselves been locked up as political prisoners, so are now voicing their opposition to Maduro actions and are threatening to remove their support if he doesn't address this situation re political prisoners and set a date for elections that should happen this year. Who are the people suffering from this failed government, as usual it is the working people and the poor who find themselves in a situation where there are shortages and rationing of basic foods and if and when they can find basics they can't afford to pay for them. Maduro is now talking about nationalizing food distribution, but as about half is already nationalized and the system is completely fucked up, if he does go ahead things will only get worse for the population.