Venezuela released new high value banknotes

Venezuela released new high value banknotesThe Venezuelan government's release of larger denomination banknotes to its citizens comes weeks behind schedule, Deutsche Welle said on Tuesday.

The new notes, valued between 500 and 20,000 bolivars, are meant to replace the 100-bolivar note, which was the largest denomination of currency available in Venezuela before Monday.

Venezuelans often had to carry large amounts of 100 bolivar notes, worth just a few US cents, to go shopping. However the new 20,000-bolivar note is still worth less than $6 (£5) on the black market, which Venezuelans frequently turn to if they are unable to purchase official-rate dollars.

President Maduro has said the 100-bolivar notes are hoarded by "mafias," but he extended the deadline for the note to stay legal tender - until February 20. This is the third time Maduro has extended the deadline.

Maduro has blamed the current economic crisis on the U.S., calling it a capitalist conspiracy within the socialist nation. The opposition blames Maduro's policies for the crisis and is seeking a popular vote to remove Maduro from office.

A massive increase in inflation has made the smaller banknotes virtually worthless in the South American country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned inflation in Venezuela will rise to 1,660 percent in 2017, considered one of the highest inflation rates in the world.
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