Caracas | The Venezuelan government, plagued by serious liquidity problems, will inject into its economy $ 1 billion from the sale of Petro, its cryptocurrency.
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced Thursday night that the sale of the Petro, launched in February, had brought into the coffers of the Venezuelan state $ 3.3 billion “, of which $ 1.7 billion will be used to import” food, medicines and raw materials for industry “.
Imports of medicines and medical supplies collapsed with the economic crisis in Venezuela.
Of the remaining 1.6 billion, “I decided to give the Central Bank $ 1 billion,” he added.
This sum will supply the reserves of this oil country which now has only $ 9.7 billion and must repay some $ 8 billion in 2018.
Venezuela, troubled by the fall in the price of gold from which it draws 96% of its currency, is forced to restructure an external debt estimated at about $ 150 billion by some experts.
This billion dollars must also serve to counter the black market, where the greenback flows at rates 12 times higher than the official rate. For this, the Central Bank (BCV) regularly organizes foreign exchange auctions.
The Venezuelan government accuses the opposition, the United States and Colombia of an “economic war” to precipitate its downfall.
The ruling camp accuses the “mafia” of foreign exchange, as he calls it, of being responsible for the devaluation of the local currency – the bolivar–, as well as the country’s hyperinflation, at 13,000 % this year, according to the IMF.
Since 2003, the socialist government has been applying strict currency and exchange controls, distributing dollars in the drip.