Venezuela takes drastic new measures against currency trafficking

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro took to the TV to announce something stunning recently: the removal of an entire denomination of Venezuelan currency from circulation. Here’s the story, via Aporrea:

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro informed on his VTV show, Contacto con Maduro, that in the next three days, all 100-bolivar notes will be removed from circulation, with the intent of dismantling the trade, by international mafias, of taking Venezuelan banknotes out of the land. They have removed more than 300 billion bolivars using currency of this denomination. Those who have 100-bolivar notes in their possession must declare them at the Central Bank of Venezuela in the days to come, said the chief of state.

According to Maduro, in the Colombian cities of Cúcuta and Maicao there are permanent centres of attack against Venezuelan currency and the currency-trading system, using the extraction of banknotes as one form of action.

Maduro explained that the removal of Venezuelan banknotes, and the 100-bolivar note in particular, is being done to destabilize the Venezuelan economy and society. Which has already been tried in other countries, although fortunately, the high level of Venezuelan banking, by way of cash cards, electronic banking and transfers, has prevented worse consequences.

The president denounced that, according to informants, these mafias have gigantic hoards of 100-bolivar notes.

“I’ve given the order to General Vladimir Padrino López (the minister of defence) and to Major-General Néstor Reverol Torres (minister of Interior Relations) to immediately close all terrestrial, aerial and maritime routes so that none of those banknotes they took out can return, and they keep this swindle out of the country!”

Maduro announced also that large stockpiles of 100-bolivar notes have been detected in foreign countries such as Germany, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. By coincidence, videos have been circulating in social media since April, of persons of different nationalities with immense quantities of 100-bolivar notes in their possession.

[…]

“There will be a 10-day period so that the Central Bank, with the SEBIN [Bolivarian Intelligence Service] present, making all exchanges for those who wish to exchange [100-bolivar notes for other denominations]. Those who owe nothing, need fear nothing!” said Maduro.

On Monday, Interior Minister Néstor Reverol will meet with the Banking Association over the removal of the 100-bolivar note, Maduro announced. They will be taking advantage of Monday’s bank holiday to better organize the proceedings.

“Working people, shop owners, transportation workers, common people…all will have our complete support” for the hand-over and exchange of 100-bolivar notes.

Maduro announced that for months, the Venezuelan government has been demanding of the government of Colombia, by the diplomatic route, the elimination of Resolution 8, of the Colombian Central Bank, “which created this money-laundering operation, since the bolivar has one price in Bogotá, at the Central Bank, and another price among the mafias of Cúcuta. It is a merciless attack upon the Venezuelan economy.”

Maduro also indicated that there are national banks involved, and that an NGO contracted by the US Treasury Department has been the operator directing the whole operation against Venezuelan paper money. According tot he Organic Law Against Organized Crime, Article 51, the crimes all carry prison sentences of 12 to 18 years. “I ask for the maximum sentence for all those responsible who turn up in this investigation,” Maduro said.

This decision takes place just days after the announcement that new banknotes, of denominations of 500 to 20,000 bolivars, as well as 10-, 50-, and 100-bolivar coins, will begin to circulate as of December 15.

Translation mine.

BTW, Madurito isn’t kidding about the foreigners with stacks of 100-bolivar bills stowed away. Here’s some incriminating video:

This guy is Chinese. What on Earth is he up to with all those Venezuelan notes? Nothing good, by the looks of it. He sure seems to be busy with it, though.

And he’s not the only one. Remember, Madurito mentioned Germans, Czechs and Ukrainians all stockpiling the money in their respective countries. And of course, Colombians are in it up to their eyeballs. What are THEY doing with all that money? And what are their political affiliations?

As yet, I don’t know. But I have my suspicions. Fascism is on the rise globally, and it’s got to fund itself somehow. Of course they would do it by robbing the Venezuelan economy of a commonly-used and therefore much-sought denomination! Venezuela is a country where socialism still prevails, much to the far right’s chagrin. And to their even greater chagrin, they’ve still failed to dislodge a socialist president who works as hard as his beloved predecessor to combat all forms of fascism. Up to, including, and especially the fiscal.

And it should escape no one’s notice that a fascist is about to take the reins of the US presidency, too. One whose greed knows no bounds. And whose impulse control is nil, and whose self-serving tendencies mean he has no qualms about trampling any and all laws.

Joke’s on them, though: The paper money they stole is now officially worthless. What will circulate in its place will be coins, and higher-denomination bills. Things that are less likely to be carried out of country on the one hand, and more likely not to escape official notice on the other.

It’s a drastic step, but these ugly times call for drastic measures.

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