Venezuelan Central Bank Backs Down from DolarToday Legal Fight: Reports

Venezuela’s central bank has quietly dropped its long running court battle with an exchange rate publisher, according to reports Friday.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

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Puebla, Mexico, September 9, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s central bank has quietly dropped its long running court battle with an exchange rate publisher, according to reports Friday.

The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) dropped its case against website DolarToday after the two parties reached an out of court agreement, according to documents obtained by news website El Estimulo.

“In accordance with the agreement of the parties … the matter is hereby dismissed … without cost to either party,” read a order from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit published Friday by El Estimulo. The statement didn’t provide any details of the agreement, though a lawyer for DolarToday said the BCV had voluntarily withdrawn its case.

“The central bank elected to voluntarily withdraw the lawsuit with prejudice (ie, can not renew demand),” lawyer Ricardo Gonzalez from the firm Greenberg Traurig told El Estimulo. Gonzalez represented DolarToday in the case in the US court.

“The only thing we agreed with the bank was to not oppose their application to withdraw the demand,” he said.

The move could hail an end to the Venezuelan government’s legal battle with the US based DolarToday. Run by a group of Venezuelans living in the US, the website publishes exchange rate data for Venezuela’s currency, the BsF, along with a mix of anti-government memes and pro-opposition commentary.

The Venezuelan government has accused the website of fanning inflation by publishing inaccurate exchange data. In 2015 and early 2016 the value of the BsF plunged, though in recent months it’s remained relatively stable. For much of the year, the BsF has sat at 1000 to the dollar.

DolarToday has accused the Venezuelan government of launching cyber attacks against the site, along with seeking to shut them down through a legal campaign in the US. The BCV’s latest appeal came after two failed attempts to shut the website down in US courts. Neither DolarToday or the BCV have released public statements on the latest outcome.

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