With inflation reaching over 1,000,000 percent, people forced to eat animals they find in the street and president Nicolas Maduro’s nephews arrested for trying to traffic 800 kg of cocaine into the USA, Venezuela’s government has successfully driven the country into the ground.
Thus, it’s unsurprising that Maduro’s United Socialist Party is going to force Venezuelans to use the country’s worthless cryptocurrency, Petro. A local paper, the Caracas Chronicles, said on Friday that the government has taken retirees’ pensions and converted them into the cryptocurrency.
Described by one reporter earlier this year as “the most horrible investment ever,” Petro has been launched and re-launched several times since it was first announced in February of this year.
Unsurprisingly, Venezuelans haven’t been too keen to adopt their government’s cryptocurrency. Given how badly they have done with their efforts at maintaining a fiat currency, that’s not surprising.
Not a group of people to give up easily, the government has decided to force Venezuelans to use the cryptocurrency. Pensioners found that their payments for December had been taken away and converted into Petro.
In effect, that means they are worthless. No one seems to know where Petro can even be spent, what its value is or whether it even really exists in practice.
This sort of behavior on the part of Maduro and his cronies is nothing new. Back in August, authorities in Venezuela, not wanting people to continue fleeing their socialist paradise, decided to set up a massive new border force to prevent people from leaving the country.
To make things even tougher, a law was put in place that meant Venezuelans have to pay for their new passport in Petro. As no one is even certain as to how you go about buying Petros, it seems unlikely that many people have been able to get a new passport.
It does seem that pensioners, at least in theory, can convert their Petros back into Bolivars and then withdraw the money in fiat. As the system appears to be set up to make this process as long-winded, bureaucratic and complicated as possible, it may not actually be possible in reality — what a mess.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva via flickr)