Vice president Delcy Rodriguez announced this afternoon that effective next month, any Venezuelan resident in need of a passport must pay for the document using the Petro, the regime’s controversial cryptocurrency.
At the same time, Rodriguez also announced that the price of obtaining a new passport would rise. A new passport now costs BsS. 7,200, and extensions on passports that are about to expire cost BsS. 3,600. The new prices become effective this coming October 8.
The minimum monthly salary in Venezuela is BsS. 1,800, making the document prohibitively expensive for a vast number of Venezuelans.
Starting om November 1, Rodriguez explained, Venezuelans must pay for both new passports and current passport extensions using Petros. A new passport will cost two Petros, Rodriguez said, while an extension on a current passport will cost one.
Announced early this year, the Petro has received universal criticism from economists and cryptocurrency experts as nothing more than a poorly-executed sham to help the Maduro regime circumvent
Given the technological requirements of buying Petros–both in terms hardware and know-how–the switch is likely to plunge further into chaos the lives of Venezuelans desperate to flee the crisis.
Regime Creates Migration Police
During the same speech, Rodriguez announced the creation of a new migration police force. Rodriguez said:
We also want to make it known [something] very important… we’re starting a migration police [force] starting immediately… they will have 72 checkpoints along the border[s], ports and airports.
Rodriguez said that the migration police–the official name of which is not immediately clear–would strive to “preserve citizen security”, and that it would allow Venezuelan to have “migration controls like those of other countries”.
There are no details on the new migration police force beyond Rodriguez’s statements above.
Colombia Rejects Maduro’s Attack on Duque
Yesterday, Maduro launched into an angry tirade against Colombian president Ivan Duque and his government during an address, calling the leader “a devil”.
Maduro said that while Duque “has the face of an angel”, he is in fact “a devil who hates Venezuela”, and that he “is conspiring daily” against his regime.
On the Colombian government in general, Maduro said that it was “dangerous” because he claims that it operates on a mixture of “hatred and inexperience”.
The Colombian Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement today rejecting Maduro’s comments, part of which reads:
The Ministry of Foreign Relations considers these comments to be an offense against the dignity of the office of President of the Republic of Colombia, the government which it represents, and the Colombian people who elected it, which is why we demand respect from the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Veneuzela.
Colombia has long been the target of vitriolic attacks from Maduro and other regime officials. Colombia features predominantly in the regime’s mythos as a central player in the alleged worldwide conspiracy against Maduro, which also allegedly includes the governments of Spain, the United States, Canada, as well as Venezuelan nationals abroad.
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