The economy does not give truce to Venezuela.
Despite a palpable improvement compared to the worst years of the crisis and the gradual reactivation of the oil sector, the optimistic forecasts with which 2022 closed do not correspond, at least for the moment, with reality.
The specter of hyperinflation has once again filled the horizon with dark clouds and crude oil production has not yet taken off.
In this breeding ground, the protests of workers demanding a salary increase have resumed and, once again, they have raised the social pressure against the Government of Nicolás Maduro, who is expected this Tuesday at the Celac summit ( the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) in Buenos Aires.
This new wave of mobilizations occurs in the midst of the negotiation process between Chavismo and the opposition, in an attempt at dialogue that is currently stalled due to the reluctance of the United States to release state assets frozen abroad and tensions with the regime.
However, the marches are not strictly political on this occasion.
In Venezuela, material conditions prevail, especially after years of catastrophic management, embezzlement by the state oil company, PDVSA, and international sanctions.
Society's priority is to avoid suffocation and avert a return to the recent past.
Professionals, technicians and workers from the educational, health, steel and metal-mechanic sectors, public administration workers and also retirees have joined the protests.
They do not lack reasons to go out on the streets.
The minimum wage received by a large part of public employees is set at 130 bolivars per month, which today is equivalent to about 6.5 euros.
Although this amount multiplied with respect to previous years, it is more than derisory compared to the escalation of prices: the monthly shopping basket is close, for example, to 370 euros.
These circumstances force millions of people to depend on state aid, especially the food programs known as CLAP, creating a compensation mechanism that in practice favors Chavista militants and sympathizers.
Beyond the complications that a new protest front may entail for Maduro, what is truly urgent is for the government to face an unfeasible situation.
The dialogue table installed in Mexico reached an agreement at the end of November to alleviate the human crisis.
That was a good sign, but now Chavismo's refusal to continue negotiating if Washington does not speed up the release of the funds, together with the chaotic situation of the opposition bloc, has again left the dialogue in borage.
For this reason, in addition to the electoral horizon, it is imperative that they make every effort to sit down again and reach agreements capable of alleviating the anguish of a large part of the population.