Venezuela: Population Complains About Quality of New Bills

Venezuela has introduced three new bills to keep up with its record levels of inflation. The bills were recently announced and they began circulating just days ago. But those who have received them through ATMs and banks are now complaining about their quality.

La Patilla reports that users have started complaining on social media about the new bills. The bills, which began circulating on June 12, are worth 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 Bs. They are the latest addition to the country’s currency, which has seen several changes over the last three years.

Users Complain of Bad Quality

The bills have a similar design to previous editions but people complain that they are of bad quality, with barely any color. La Patilla reports that the bills look like something out of a Monopoly board game.

The bills are the latest to debut in the country, which has seen its previous bills become worthless. The country’s inflation is at an all time high and bills begin losing value even before they start circulating.

Over the last two years, Maduro and Venezuela’s Central Bank have come up with higher bills to keep up with the inflation and reduce the amount of bills needed to make a purchase in cash.

Another Release of Bills

The opposition has repeatedly said this won’t solve the main problem. In recent years, cash has also been part of the country’s shortages. ATMs don’t provide enough money for Venezuelans to make a big purchase. On top of that, the cash is usually difficult to find since some who have it decide to sell it at a higher percentage. Maduro and supporters have previously blamed smugglers for the shortages, saying the country’s bills are being taken across the border to Colombia.

In previous releases, the bills have sparked confusion among the population since they have been released with similar designs. One of the bills that was released less than two years ago was identical to the previous one, with the only change being extra zeros.

Previous Releases and Problems

In December 2016, the country’s cash crisis worsened when the new bills failed to arrive. The arrival of the new bills was announced along with a deadline to trade in the old bills at banks across the country. The situation sparked protests in some cities, including Maracaibo, where people complained that banks were not doing enough.

The announcement also led to endless lines at banks and some Venezuelans reported that the old bills were still being dispensed by ATMs. The bills eventually arrived to the capital and some cities but they became difficult to find. They had also lost some value during the wait.

Economic and Political Crisis

Venezuela’s economic and political crisis appears to have no end in sight as Maduro and Guaido continue to battle for power. Guaido has the support of more than 50 countries while Maduro claims that he is the legitimate president after winning a controversial election in early 2018. Maduro has the support of countries such as China, Russia and Cuba.