Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas Tuesday in a show of support for the new economic reforms that took effect a day earlier. The reforms are part of the government's Economic Recovery Plan, which seeks to address the country's financial problems and fight back against the economic war and the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies targetting Venezuela.
A day earlier President Nicolas Maduro addressed the nation through social media to celebrate the “success” of the process of currency reconversion. He also congratulated both public and private banking sector for their efficiency.
“We have started currency reconversion and successfully adapted the technological platforms of the national banking system in record time,” Maduro said before asking people to take to the streets Tuesday to support the plan and assert their country's sovereignty.
The recently introduced "Sovereign Bolívar" began circulation on August 20 as one of the first measures in Venezuela’s Economic Recovery Plan. The currency is pegged to the country’s cryptocurrency, the Petro, which is worth 3,600 sovereign bolivares.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) 21 de agosto de 2018
Economist Tony Boza highlighted the importance of the new currency’s peg to international oil prices, through the Petro, to fight hyperinflation.
“We are not going to be subject to the value of our currency being determined by a website, the oil market will determine it. It can be unstable sometimes, but it has its rhythm, its own structures, and many countries are involved,” Boza argued.
Journalist Marco Teruggi explained the measure “will have an effect on the availability of cash in the hands of the people, who currently have less than one percent of the monetary liquidity. This shortage, fabricated by the smuggling of cash to Colombia and the speculation unleashed by the shortage has generated, among other things, a parallel currency market.”
During a statement through Facebook live, Maduro also invited the people of Venezuela to participate in a march to support the measures in the Economic Recovery Plan.
“I know there will be a great march in Caracas… The people on the street; that is our formula, a mobilized and conscious people.”
Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) and vice-president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), confirmed Monday the march will begin in the headquarters of CANTV, Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company, and will head to the presidential palace of Miraflores.
In a statement, Cabello said the government had entered a counteroffensive stage in the economic war they claim the country’s financial elite and the United States have waged against the socialist government and condemned the U.S. announcement that it was sending a medical warship to Colombia to help Venezuelan immigrants.
“That ship is another aggression to our country and Latin America… Why don’t they send that humanitarian aid to Puerto Rico? Why is that ship not anchored to provide attention for Puerto Ricans when half the island has no electricity?” Cabello argued.
This teleSUR article has been edited by Venezuelanalysis.