Tuesday 11 May 2021

Venezuelans Struggle to Adjust to Currency Revaluation

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Venezuelans struggled Monday to calculate prices of food and household goods as a new currency scheme aimed at taming runaway inflation went into effect.

Withdrawing cash from automated teller machines at a Mercantil bank branch in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 20, 2018

The new currency, known as the “sovereign bolivar,” is valued at one to 100,000 of the old bolivars, in effect chopping five zeros off of existing prices. The International Monetary Fund has calculated that inflation in the country will hit 1 million percent by year’s end.

Many residents went on a weekend shopping spree, stocking up on hard-to-find essentials before the new currency came into effect Monday morning. Many shops were closed Monday for a national holiday declared to ease the introduction of the new currency.

- Advertisement -

“People had full supermarket carts like I had not seen in years,” said Paola Martinez, a young professional who decided to buy groceries in one of the wealthiest areas of the capital before the new banknotes were introduced. Martinez said many shoppers were purchasing items such as cookware not normally part of their grocery lists.

A man shows the new five and ten Bolivar Soberano (Sovereign Bolivar) bills, after he withdrew them from an automated teller machine (ATM) at a Mercantil bank branch in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 20, 2018.

On the other side of the city in a populous municipal market, fish vendor Amaril Araya said weekend customers bought three times as much as on a regular weekend. She said he was not yet displaying prices in the new currency because her customers, especially the elderly, are very confused.

Juan Segovia, a vegetable seller in the municipal market, said people were making “nervous purchases” over the weekend.

The shopping splurge was complicated by problems with banking machines and credit cards, as financial institutions struggled to adjust. Despite starting preparations on Friday, many bank electronic platforms were still in maintenance on Monday.

- Advertisement -

President Nicolas Maduro first announced plans for the currency revaluation in mid-March, but the move was postponed twice before finally taking effect this week.

A customer shows the new five Bolivar Soberano (Sovereign Bolivar) bills, after he withdrew them from an automated teller machine at a Mercantil bank branch in Caracas, Venezuela August 20, 2018

Former President Hugo Chávez pushed through a similar revaluation in 2008, slashing eight zeros from banknote denominations. On that occasion, the change was announced almost a year in advance, and preparations were spread over six months.

Maduro also announced Friday a massive 3,000 percent increase in the minimum wage to take effect in September. Changes to the tax and fiscal system were also announced.

Both the sovereign bolivar and the new salary will be “anchored” to the petro, a controversial cryptocurrency pegged to the price of oil, which the government introduced earlier this year.

Sources: Reuters; Voanews

- Advertisement -

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Bolsonaro compares quarantines to Maduro’s dictatorship

Q24N - Brasilia (EFE) The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said...

“Nicaragua is not a Republic, it is a 16th century monarchy”

TODAY NICARAGUA – If he wins the presidency of Nicaragua, the...


Red Cross suspends extraction of nutritionist’s body in Chirripó

QCOSTARICA - The Cruz Roja (Red Cross), on Saturday,  suspended the extraction of the body of nutritionist Marialis Blanco Vega, who was found dead...

Costa Rica will buy two million more doses to accelerate vaccination

QCOSTARICA - The President of the Comision Nacional de Emergencias (CNE), Alexander Solis, announced this Monday afternoon that Costa Rica is purchasing an additional...

Mexico’s apology to indigenous Maya people: Progress or political show?

Q24N - Exactly 120 years after the battle that ended the last great Maya revolt in Mexico's Yucatan area, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador marked...

Seriously ill patients from covid-19 overflow Caja capacity

QCOSTARICA - The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) says that its hospitalization figures for serious covid-19 patients are in the red. In a statement ...

Rainy season official commenced in the Central Valley this week

QCOSTARICA - If you have been putting, resisting to give in, to carry an umbrella, take note:  the rainy season of the Central Valley...

The 20 best places to visit in Costa Rica

LONELY PLANET - Costa Rica is famous for its lush coasts, biodiverse jungles, stunning waterfalls, and dramatic volcanoes – not to mention a mix...

Canada approves BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for young teens

QCOVID DIGEST - Canada's health regulator has authorized the Pfizer/BionTech coronavirus vaccine for children between 12 and 15 years old. Dr. Supriya Sharma, the...

Cuba Ready to Join WHO-Led COVAX Facility, Ambassador to China Says

Q24N   - Cuba is ready to join the COVAX vaccine-sharing mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Latin American country's ambassador to...

Today’s Covid News: 1,024 in hospital, 403 of them in an ICU

QCOSTARICA - After three days of nothing, not a word from the Ministry of Health, on the current covid-19 situation, Monday afternoon numbers were...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.