Photo: Reuters, retrieved

A few hours ago, president Maduro announced that Venezuelan currency would be reevaluated, basically scratching off those useless zeros that makes buying a cup of coffee and an empanada a millionaire deal.

Not only that, Maduro also announced a demonetizing of all current currency, having it replaced by new banknotes, unironically called “Bolívar Soberano” (Sovereign Bolivar) that, as far as we know, haven’t been printed yet, and that the entire process should be done within a single month, from June 4th to July 4th.

10 years ago, when the Venezuelan government announced these very same measures, it was seen with preoccupation of a financial quagmire with increasingly fewer ways to escape.

The government didn’t spare expenses on selling “the Monetary Revaluation”, as a cosmetic fix with no repercussions. They released picture books and badly-animated PSAs, with a straw-man naysayer, called “Medio Malo”:

Turns out, Medio Malo is better forecasting inflation, hunger and shortages than Francisco Rodríguez. Pretty visionary for 2008.

In fact, seeing how the first revaluation was done amidst an international oil price boom is a sign that: 1) Chavismo’s policies have always been pretty lousy, but we were too rich to notice; 2) Pulling this right now, with the government facing an official 99.6% devaluation, is not easy.

Since Venezuelan currency is a worthless token that keeps increasing in quantity but reducing in value, this could mean more trouble and confusion to avoid taking the necessary measures at fixing our core economic issues.

And seeing the December 2016 disaster, you must wonder how successful (or how big of a mess) this is going to be.

Here are the new banknotes, courtesy of El Nacional:

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31 COMMENTS

  1. The reconversión of the Bolívar is just a smokescreen. I am more interested in what this means:

    6:03 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “A partir de mañana, viernes 23 de marzo, todas las personas jurídicas y naturales, pueden empezar la compra efectiva de Petro a través de la página web http://www.elpetro.gob.ve. Podrá realizarse en divisas convertibles: yuanes, liras turcas, euros y rublos. Así como 3 criptomonedas. El proceso de venta pública será de 15 días hábiles, el equipo del Petro contactará a todos los inversionistas que han hecho su intención de compra.”

    6:05 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “Cada usuario tendrá su petro billetera con su clave persona y será responsable de sus recursos con la petro billetera. Segundo anuncio.”

    6:07 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “A partir del 20 de abril se aceptará el Petro como forma de pago para la compra y venta de muebles e inmuebles en todo el territorio venezolano”

    6:10 p.m Nicolás Maduro: Las empresas exportadoras privadas, atención, podrán entregar y pagar en Petro los impuestos y resultados de sus exportaciones ante el BCV incluyendo la enorme deuda que tienen con el país de los años 2016 y 2017. ”

    6:11 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “Todos los operadores turísticos nacionales DEBERÁN cobrar en Petro, no podrán, DEBERÁN.”

    6:14 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “Corpovex debe iniciar de inmediato la contratación para la importación de elementos esenciales para el país en Petro, alimentos, medicinas, etcétera, etcétera.”

    6:18 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “Cuarto anuncio. He decidido emitir un decreto que voy a proceder a firmar de manera inmediata en el marco del Decreto de la emergencia económica, para crear 4 zonas económicas exclusivas y especiales donde se puede intercambiar comercialmente con El Petro como moneda de compra de bienes y servicios, estas zonas son: Isla de Margarita, La isla de Los Roques, la Zona económica especial de Paraguaná y la de Ureña, San Antonio.”

    6:21 p.m Nicolás Maduro: “Quinto anuncio. Vamos a iniciar las auditorías para la aprobación de los exchanges, todas las solicitudes para legalizar las casas de cambio que han llegado nacional e internacionalmente. Esto es un mundo nuevo Venezuela, la autorización para que las casas de cambio actúen de manera legal con El Petro.”

    • I think it means that there will be no legitimate economic activity or government imports.
      “Corpovex must immediately start hiring for the importation of essential elements for the country in Petro, food, medicines, etcetera, etcetera.”
      Is any company that currently sells the supplies for CLAP to the Venezuelan government going to accept the Petro? This looks like the last gasp of the regime to try to obtain as much hard currency as possible before the complete collapse of the Venezuelan Central Bank.
      I can’t picture anyone buying Petros. Officially the Petro is backed by unrefined resources that are still in the ground. This is a Saturday Night Live skit.
      Years ago there was a resort in Aruba that required you to buy beads for any transactions in the resort. The resort sold them at an even exchange to the Dollar. The catch was the resort would not redeem any remaining beads a guest had at the end of their stay. They screwed over their guests and stuck them with worthless beads.
      It didn’t take long for it to go out of business when people did not return and the word of their scam got out. Screw me once…..
      The Petro is a reinvention of those worthless beads. They may as well be using rainbows and unicorns for currency.

  2. Thanks Jose, once the energy sanctions go down due to poetas buddy pompeo, then we begin gigainflation, not hyperinflation, but gigainflation.

    Please Falsonistas, talk to maduro and his band of malandros and please do an intervention. Tell him that it is best to get the F out of Town right NOW!!!!!

    Eventually these limp dicks (“que lastima pueblo chimbo” pque no hay “gloria bravo pueblo”) will start to get really pissed and then there will be hell to pay.

  3. No one’s seeing this for what it is, a convoluted plot to make a reality of the ultimate chavista’s wet dream:

    To have the rotten mortadela’s face in a note, in this case, the rotten mortadela with a cheap wig and cosplaying as a patriot hero in the 500 BFFBSBS note, which is actually worth 500.000 (five hundred thousand) BsF, which were worth 500.000.000 Bs (Five hundred million) Bs.

  4. I’m very curious who they are going to get to print these new notes for them? Perhaps they plan to pay this printer in Petros? Wasn’t there a story where they weren’t getting fresh notes printed now because the printing company wasn’t getting paid?

    Yea. Good luck with that.

    • That’s my thinking too.

      If they couldn’t even introduce the 100 bill properly, I wanna see how they roll with a whole new set of banknotes.

  5. The petro is then to become a proxy for the hard currency which use in Venezuela is officially so curtailed , except it cannot be used universally in day to day transactions only in certain specially circunscribed areas…, there appears to be no clear cut way of exchanging petros for ordinary Bs (however named) , only way of using the petro is by engaging in certain digital operations……!! , it could be of advantage to certain parties with access to hard currencies but to the ordinary guy in the streets is seems to be pretty useless….

      • Is Maduro a “cocaine sack”? Beats me. Some on this blog paint Maduro as some dumb ass hick bus driving rub fall guy controlled be the Cubans, but others paint him as a more calculating and manipulative bastard (perhaps implanted by Cubans way back when?) who is no one’s fool. I don’t know one way or the other from this blog….

    • “In my opinion, what is needed to rebuild the Venezuelan economy is to re-elect President Nicolás Maduro in 2018 so that he can take radical economic measures (which may be unpopular, such as setting international prices for gasoline and investing that income in Venezuela’s recovery). So, count on my unconditional vote.

      Only within the Bolivarian Revolution there is a solution to all the problems, while the guarimbera terrorist opposition does not solve anything”

      Hahahaha! I can’t help but wonder what the writer is waiting for… Maduro already has dictatorship-like powers, yet the econimy is in a shambles! He can take radical economic measures right now (and frequently does!) Is the re-election of the bus driver going to magically fix things? What is Maduro waiting for, in this writers opinion?

      Of course, it is all just silliness. The writer of the above opinion piece doesn’t have two neurons to rub together, and is a Marxist until death. It is just interesting to see.

  6. This new plot twist is just a hard turn on the head screw! They are reaching the limits of the pretend phase fast, and with this new circus, affecting everyone’s pockets and means to transact goods nd services, they will complete the transition to full Cuban model.

    People trapped in venezuela will have to decide to leave penniless, or to summit totally to a holomodor / CLAP tyranny. (or fight!)

    The next months are full destruction mode, while a mirage election hangs in the horizon and the “actores de reparto” have been hired for the farce (guys in the famous NY picture with Falcon, guys of the frente amplio, turncoat agents wishing the oppositions, etc).

    Llegamos al llegadero.

    • The llegadero was reached in the very second the rotten mortadelo ordered the slaughter of the peaceful protesters in april 11 of 2002.

      Venezuela hit rock bottom that day when it was proven without doubt that it was taken by a butcher that would gladly murder thousands or millions to remain in power.

  7. It has not occurred to these government geniuses that merchants and retailers will simply add three zeros to the price and they are back to square one. They are fighting fire with gasoline hoses. But don’t worry….the Petro will restore the economy. They just need 20 more years of unfettered rule (this 20 in absolute power) to get 21st century socialism perfected.

  8. Perhaps Maduro thinks this is a legitimate election. Didn’t he get the memo about the fix being in and his vote tally already being decided?
    The regime has run out of money to buy votes with CLAP or anything else. Soon they will be out of money to pay the military to oppress the people.
    The only thing I can come up with is that this is a last desperate attempt to grab any hard currency available.
    There is no difference between selling this government anything on credit or accepting the Petro as payment.
    Smoke and mirrors.
    The daily US $35 million the regime is getting from oil sales doesn’t cover the cost of getting it out of the ground wen only 1/3 of the production is available for sale.
    There truly is nothing left and any funds off shore may be inaccessible.

    • Please explain this to Poeta, there literally is not enough cash for everyone to be corrupt. Two dollars a day does not convert to meeting people’s basic needs much less benefiting from some corrupt scheme.

      • I can’t figure out what the government is still running on. Except for printing more and more worthless Bolivars.
        The regime is still claiming $9.45 billion in foreign reserves. It can’t be possible.
        Many tankers of oil have been rejected due to the impurities that should have been removed from the before it was sent to the refineries still being in the oil.
        There is so little economic activity occurring due to the inability to import any materials needed for production of any type, that the GDP has to be collapsing. Importing raw materials and adding value through manufacturing or agricultural production is almost unknown.
        The imports are almost all consumables. These imports are decreasing rapidly as no credit is available to the regime.
        The regime has not released any economic numbers in years. This makes finding info a challenge. Even if the regime did release economic numbers, the validity would be questionable.

  9. There’re some other things behind these useless new notes:

    * New guiso opportunities for enchufados.

    * The imbeciles at the gubmint that believe that taking away people’s money they’ll reduce inflation.

    * The f*******s that dream with “taking away those escuálidos’ money for being so escuálidos”

    * RAISING THE GASOLINE FOR ABOUT 100.000%

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