Venezuela prints ‘zero bolivar’ Karl Marx bills to stem national cash crisis

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As Venezuela suffers from a severe shortage of cash, the country is attempting to boost public confidence by selling new zero-bolivar Karl Marx bills for 1,000 bolivars.

The bolivar – Venezuela’s national currency – has lost the virtually all of its value in less than 12 months and the end of the crisis is nowhere in sight. President Nicolas Maduro ordered the production of the Karl Marx bills, saying they will boost the morale of people decimated by hyperinflation.

National Treasury chief Nelson Reinaldo Lepaje Salazar, who put Maduro’s plan into effect, said “the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will rescue each other with true Socialism. Those who do have bolivars to spend will buy the Karl Marx bills, and the government will give bolivars to people who have no bolivars to spend.”

The Treasury is selling the currency at an 8 percent commission, which can be purchased by each person according to his ability using a debit card or bank transfer. National banks then distribute bolivars to each according to his needs.

The plan was necessary because prices have skyrocketed, making it hard for people to afford basic necessities such as food, medicine, or even toilet paper. And even if people do have money, it’s hard to actually find enough cash to buy anything.

President Maduro said he expects hyperinflation will be under control by the end of the year.

See our updated coverage of this important ongoing story here and here.

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