On the last day of my very intense visit to Caracas during the Parliamentary election, I had a chance to go sample another one of the very fine arepas de queso de mano that I enjoy so much. And there was a big jump of 24.6% in the three weeks since my last sample, one of the biggest changes I saw all year with the arepa which a year earlier was Bs. 156, reaching the incredible price of Bs. 810 each. This represents a one year increase of 419%.
I had sort of expected a big rise, as i know the exchange control office had visited merchants ahead of the election. While forcing merchants to bring prices back, the agents also suggested that they could increase prices after the elections.
Shelves are now emptier than they were before Dec. 6th. As someone told me today on the phone: “No, don’t worry, there are fewer lines, there is very little to buy…”