Venezuela’s Central Bank President, Domingo Maza Zavala announced that the currency controls on the Venezuelan Bolivar would be made “substantially” more flexible for the new year. The first step would be to allow Venezuelans traveling abroad to use their Venezuelan credit cards. Until now Venezuelans could not use credit cards from Venezuelan banks while abroad because the only ones who could exchange Bolivars into Dollars were businesses that could document business-related purchases.
Venezuela’s currency control has been in effect since February 2003 and has fixed the currency at 1,600 Bolivars per Dollar. The exchange rate control was introduced towards the end of the oil industry shut-down when capital flight accelerated, the currency devalued precipitously, and the Central Bank could no longer maintain the stability of the currency.