Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela on Thursday assured citizens that the country is making a plan to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, using the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes and a basket of currencies.
Maduro was refering to Venezuela’s “DICOM” official exchange rate in which the dollar buys 3,345 bolivars, according to the central bank.
At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys just 10 bolivars, but on the black market the dollar fetches 20,193 bolivars, a spread versus the official rate that economists say has fostered corruption.
A thousand dollars of local currency bought when Maduro came to power in 2013 would now be worth $1.20.
“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in an hours-long address to a new legislative superbody, without providing details of the new mechanism.
“If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro said.