‘Christmas is dead’ in Venezuela, and 2016 looks grim

by Alexander Martinez | AFP / Yahoo! News  |  published on December 24, 2015

Caracas (AFP) – “Christmas is dead,” says Elise Belisario, who, like many Venezuelans, can’t afford to hang decorations or make a traditional holiday meal this year.

And 2016 augurs bleak times too in this staggering oil giant, where the new year looks set to bring political power struggles and little respite from a crippling economic crisis.

Belisario lives in the sprawling slum of Petare, on the outskirts of Caracas, which is suffering this holiday season from the shortages and triple-digit inflation gripping Venezuela — the twin tribulations of the once high-flying economy’s demise.