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Bolivar of Broken Dreams
Urena, Venezuela—Soldiers prevent Venezuelans from crossing into Colombia on December 18. The country is in the grips of a catastrophic economic crisis: Inflation is rampant, cash is scarce, and many are struggling to pay for food. Days earlier, the government pulled 100 bolivar notes, its largest bills, from circulation and closed the border to stop “mafias” allegedly smuggling cash out of the country. The result: riots and a rush to the border. Soldiers used tear gas on looters in Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second largest city, and some protesters lit 100 bolivar notes on fire.