Following yesterday’s nation-wide unrest over the government’s mishandling of the introduction new currency, Maduro backtracked today and said that the Bs. 100 bills will now be in circulation until January 2. Today’s announcement is a total reversal of the announcement on the bills that Maduro made on Sunday, in which declared that the Bs. 100 note would become obsolete on Wednesday at midnight.
Sunday’s announcement set off a wave of panic across the country, as Venezuelans suddenly faced the possibility of having the most commonly-circulated bill become worthless if they failed to deposit it in a bank by the deadline. The panic resulted in day-long lines at banks on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as severe riots and other disturbances in several states yesterday.
Maduro said that the reason for the extension of the life of the Bs. 100 bill has to do with the fact that the new bills that were supposed to replace it starting on December 15 have not actually arrived in the country. This fact has made it impossible for the national government to implement its planned replacement of the Bs. 100 note.
On the failure of the new currency to arrive in the country, Maduro turned to a familiar explanation:
Venezuela has become the victim of sabotage so that the three airplanes that were supposed to bring the new bills did not arrive. We have a new logistic that will make sure that the planes arrive, but not in the way that I wanted.
As in previous occassions, Maduro did not provide any kind of details regarding the so-called “sabotage”, who might be behind it, or why they may be instigating it.
During a speech yesterday, Maduro said that the new bills and coins would arrive tomorrow, but that they would not begin to circulate fully until the end of the month.
Maduro also said:
This sabotage is taking place because the Yankee Empire [the United States] is desperate because even though they won a circumstantial victory [sic] last year in the National Assembly, they weren’t able to defeat the revolution, nor Nicolas Maduro nor Chavez’s legacy.
115+ Business in Bolivar State Looted, Military Deployed to Quell Unrest
At least 115 business were looted in Bolivar state during the unrest that swept through the country yesterday over the bundling of the new currency roll-out. Pableysa Ostos, a journalist based out of Bolivar state, announced through her Twitter account that the city of Tumeremo saw 45 business looted, while 30 were looted in El Callao and 45 in Guasipati.
The mayor of the Sifontes municipality, Carlos Chancellor, declared a state of emergency there today, and said that the army has been deployed to the area to help prevent further unrest.
Chancellor blamed the government’s disastrous mishandling of the Bs. 100 obsolescence/new currency roll-out over the past week for the unrest in the municipality, saying:
[The government’s measures] caused panic and unrest among the people, and [resulted in] multi-million losses for local businesses.
Maduro: Allup “Will Never Be Fucking President”
During the same speech, Maduro launched into a vitriolic rant against National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup, calling him “a crazy old man” who had ambitions to rule Venezuela. Maduro used an obscene expression when talking about possibility of Allup one day running for and winning a presidential election in Venezuela, saying:
[Allup will be President] el dia del coño a las 4:00 AM.
The expression does not have any direct translation into English, it can be literally translated as “the day of the cunt at 4:00 AM”.
The word coño most closely translates to “cunt” in English, and is just as obscene and taboo in Spanish. While the meaning of the phrase Maduro used is similar to the English expression “when hell freezes over”, the use of the word coño complicates the phrase’s translation.
Allup has often been the victim of obscene tirades from Maduro. On September 1 of this year, Maduro called Allup “an old motherfucker” on live television during a speech before supporters in Caracas.
Macri: Maduro Regime “Cowardly”
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri had harsh words for the Maduro regime yesterday, saying that it was “cowardly” for the Venezuelan government to maintain itself in power through brute force instead of allowing Venezuelans to decide who they want to govern them.
Macri’s comments were a direct response to a statement from PSUV vice-president Diosdado Cabello, who called Macri a coward for not allowing Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodriguez to attend a Mercosur meeting in Buenos Aires earlier this week. Macri responded by saying:
[It is] cowardly to rule over a people by force, without allowing them to express themselves.
Speaking specifically on the case of Delcy Rodriguez’s attempt to crash the Mercosur meeting earlier this week, Macri pointed out:
You can’t invite yourself to a place to which you’ve not been invited.
Maduro Threatens National Assembly Again
This has been a National Assembly [led by] the AD [Accion Democratica, an opposition party] bourgeois: nefarious, useless, without purpose, and the people will have to dissolve this National Assembly. Sooner or later, there time to constitutionally dissolve the National Assembly will come.
As one of the branches of government, the National Assembly cannot be “constitutionally dissolved” because there is no mechanism in the constitution that would allow such a measure to take place.
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