The Heat: Venezuela’s economic crisis

The Heat

Venezuela's currency swap Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro postpones the elimination of his country’s largest bank note, amid cash shortages and nationwide unrest.

The sudden change of policy from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro follows days of economic chaos.

At least three people were killed and more than three hundred were arrested in protests and looting, following the government’s elimination of its largest currency bill.

The surprise removal of the 100-bolivar note left many Venezuelans unable to pay for basic goods in a country already suffering from scarcities of food and the world’s highest inflation.

People queue outside Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) in Caracas in an attempt to change 100 Bolivar notes, on December 17, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO PARRA)

People queue outside Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) in Caracas in an attempt to change 100 Bolivar notes, on December 17, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO PARRA)

Maduro said the currency measure was needed to stop “mafias” that hoard bolivars — and smugglers on the border with Colombia. He also closed border crossings with Colombia but has since agreed to reopen them, at least to foot traffic for now.

The delay of the currency switch-out will also allow the government to get new, higher denomination bolivar notes into circulation.

Maduro blamed U.S. President Barack Obama for orchestrating the chaos in his country.

Tonight’s panel takes a look at the current economic crisis in Venezuela and how the country will rebound:  

  • Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the America’s Society and the Council of the Americas.
  • George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University.
  • Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research here in Washington, D.C.
  • Antonio Garcia Danglades, executive director of the Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre

The Heat: Venezuela’s economic crisis PT 1

The sudden change of policy from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro follows days of economic chaos. At least three people were killed and more than three hundred were arrested in protests and looting, following the government’s elimination of its largest currency bill. The surprise removal of the 100-bolivar note left many Venezuelans unable to pay for basic goods in a country already suffering from scarcities of food and the world’s highest inflation. Maduro said the currency measure was needed to stop “mafias” that hoard bolivars -- and smugglers on the border with Colombia. He also closed border crossings with Colombia but has since agreed to reopen them, at least to foot traffic for now. The delay of the currency switch-out will also allow the government to get new, higher denomination bolivar notes into circulation. Maduro blamed U.S. President Barack Obama for orchestrating the chaos in his country. Tonight's panel takes a look at the current economic crisis in Venezuela and how the country will rebound: Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the America’s Society and the Council of the Americas. George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University. Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research here in Washington, D.C. Antonio Garcia Danglades, executive director of the Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre.

Venezuelans now have until January 2nd to exchange currency notes the government plans to eliminate.

Venezuelan President Maduro had pulled the 100-bolivar note out of circulation before larger bills were available, resulting in long lines at banks, protests and looting at stores.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro introduces new bolivar

Handout picture released by the Venezuelan presidency showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holding a new 100-Bolivar-coin during a television programme in Caracas on December 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO /

A plane arrived Sunday from Sweden with more than 13 million new 500 bolivar notes. The panel continues to explore the crisis:

The Heat: Venezuela’s economic crisis PT 2

The sudden change of policy from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro follows days of economic chaos. At least three people were killed and more than three hundred were arrested in protests and looting, following the government’s elimination of its largest currency bill. The surprise removal of the 100-bolivar note left many Venezuelans unable to pay for basic goods in a country already suffering from scarcities of food and the world’s highest inflation. Venezuelans now have until January 2nd to exchange currency notes the government plans to eliminate.Venezuelan President Maduro had pulled the 100-bolivar note out of circulation before larger bills were available, resulting in long lines at banks, protests and looting at stores. A plane arrived Sunday from Sweden with more than 13 million new 500 bolivar notes. The panel continues to explore the crisis:

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