Chaos over cancelled banknotes sparks protests in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to introduce new banknotes left citizens without cash as the old 100-bolivar notes were cancelled before the larger denomination replacements arrived at banks.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The 100-bolivar note, formerly the highest denomination bill, was worth about three US cents, and accounted for 77 percent of the cash in circulation in Venezuela.

Protests broke out in Venezuela on Friday due to a lack of cash after the government suddenly pulled the nation's most widely-used banknote from circulation in the midst of a brutal economic crisis.

President Nicolas Maduro took the 100-bolivar note out of circulation to replace it with a new denomination. He argued that the measure is needed to combat mafias on the Colombia border. The new 100-bolivar notes were supposed to arrive at banks on Friday, but ATMs are still issuing the old, worthless currency.

TRT World’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

TRTWorld and agencies