There’s nothing quite as entertaining as a good dose of irony amid catastrophic events, and Venezuela hasn’t let us down.
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the nearly-broke nation doesn’t much of its own currency, the bolivar, left in its bank accounts — but it does have the world’s heaviest chocolate coin now.
More than 80 chocolatiers came together to produce a chocolate replica of the one-bolivar coin, using 1,000 kilos (2,200 lbs.) of chocolate from Venezuela. The coin is 2.4 meters (almost eight feet) across and 20 centimeters (almost eight inches) thick.
The coin has surpassed the previous record set by Italy in 2012, which produced a record-breaking chocolate coin weighing 658 kilos (1,450 lbs.), and Venezuela is now in the Guinness Book of Records for its achievement.
The project is reportedly meant to bring interest to Venezuela’s cacao industry, seeing as the country’s main export, oil, isn’t bringing in much revenue at all. In fact, many have wondered if President Maduro’s office is capable of rebounding from the economic collapse or will lead the country into total ruin.
In the U.S., there are plenty of statistics available to inform Americans just how far into debt this country has fallen; with over one million bankruptcy filings in the U.S. during 2013, it sounds like the country isn’t taking care of its citizens properly.
But looking at Venezuela, it’s clear that the U.S. economy could be much, much worse. Venezuelan government officials haven’t even released accurate numbers on the country’s inflation rate and national debts since 2014, giving its people no indication of how their country is really doing.
Economists outside its borders have been analyzing and speculating, though. According to Reuters, the Venezuelan bolivar has reached an annual inflation rate of nearly 180%, and Bloomberg reported that the bolivar’s value in the Venezuelan black market is around 800 bolivars to $1 U.S.
Chocolate can fix a lot of problems, there’s no doubt about it. But this problem may be a bit too much, even for a record-breaking piece of chocolate.