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Venezuela 'paralysed' by launch of sovereign bolivar currency

August 21, 2018 4:11 pm

Venezuela came to a standstill on Tuesday as the country tried to deal with its newly introduced currency.

Thousands of businesses closed in order to adapt to the “sovereign bolivar”, and many workers stayed at home.

President Nicolás Maduro launched the new banknotes on Monday, revaluing and renaming the old bolivar currency.

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The government say this will tackle runaway inflation, but critics say it could make the crisis worse. The notes went into circulation on Tuesday.

President Maduro had declared Monday to be a bank holiday.

Confusion over Venezuela’s economic plan
Venezuela crisis: How did we get here?
Analysis: Confusion reigns in the oil-rich nation
By Will Grant, BBC Latin America correspondent

Much of Caracas is eerily empty for a working day. Some in the opposition called for a strike but many people are simply staying at home out of uncertainty, too concerned about what the new currency will mean for the embattled nation to venture out.

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