MiamiHerald / At age 84, Anselmo Beltran needs to rest his legs after waiting in line for eight hours outside a government bank.

He sits down on the sidewalk, away from a crowd of a couple of hundred seniors who hope to collect their pensions on this Thursday. But they know the institution may run out of cash or the amount of the payment might be cut, even though the government of President Nicolás Maduro wires the credit into their accounts punctually every month.

The scene in Maracaibo, the second-largest city in Venezuela, is a common one at banks across the country on the third week of every month. And Beltran, like others, is worried he will go home empty-handed like he did in August, when his three-hour trip from Paraguaipoa – an area adjacent to Colombia’s border – didn’t pay off. Beltran’s government pension simply wasn’t paid that month.

And with inflation hitting a staggering 536 percent so far this year, the money doesn’t go far.


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