My other job is dead easy sometimes:
Reverol’s story is so far-fetched, so plain weird, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it doesn’t make the least bit of sense in its own fantastical terms. If the “international mafias” that haunt the minister’s imagination really were stockpiling 100-bolivar bills purely to sell them to the United States following regime collapse, why would they possibly care if they’re legal tender in Venezuela?
The minister clearly has not thought his own conspiracy theory through. He’s proposing to fight a secret plan to withdraw money from the country in order to cause economic chaos by…withdrawing much more paper money from circulation and creating far more chaos, especially among the poor, who often don’t have bank accounts in which to deposit their banknotes in the first place.
This version of the conspiracy theory refutes itself just as readily as the other one.
Other government officials, including President Nicolás Maduro, have portrayed the decision as aimed more at illegal exchange bureaus along the Colombian border, which the government is convinced are manipulating the value of the bolivar.
This makes more sense than the tall tales about Macedonian warehouses, but not that much more. To believe it, you’d have to think businessmen in Colombia are choosing to hoard one of the world’s fastest-depreciating assets. This version of the conspiracy theory refutes itself just as readily as the other one. With the bolivar losing 10 percent to 20 percent of its value every single month, stockpiling Venezuelan banknotes would be a little like trying to stockpile ice in open air in Phoenix in the summer.
Time was when the crazy lies they told made some kind of sense. Ya ni eso…Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.