Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has decided to eliminate three more zeros off the country’s inflation-ridden currency, the bolivar, taking effect from June 4, as an economic measure to “guarantee commercial activities”.
“I have decided to reduce three zeros of the currency and take out of circulation the current bills and put into circulation new bills,” Maduro said on Thursday during a broadcast on state channel VTV.
The President said that this new monetary denomination, which replaces the one he established in January 2017, will help the government fight the “economic war of financial persecution”, which he claimed was masterminded by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos with the help of Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges, Efe news reported.
“That war is directed from Colombia, personally directed by Santos, advised by Borges,” he said, while also accusing them of “stealing” the country’s oil money.
However, 500 bolivars, the new maximum denomination of the country’s bills, amount to only $0.01, according to the official exchange rate of 43,980 bolivars per one dollar.
According to the President, this measure represents “the defence of the bolivar” and that these new bills will be known as “sovereign bolivar”.
“There are those who propose to dollarise the Republic, no, Venezuela will not be a colony of the dollar, we will defend the Petro (the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency), we will defend the monetary, economic and financial sovereignty of the country,” he said.
Venezuela’s new set of monetary denomination will consist of two coins, one of 0.50 cents of a bolivar ($0.00001) and the other of one bolivar ($0.00002).
The largest bill in circulation is the 100,000 bolivar note, which trades for about $0.50 on the black market. A kilo of sugar (2.2 pounds) costs around 250,000 bolivars.
In 2008 Venezuela also eliminated 3 zeros from its currency and called the new Bolivar : bolívar fuerte, meaning strong