HAVANA TIMES – The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) introduced six new banknotes this week and three coins to facilitate commercial transactions amid the escalating inflation in the country, dpa reported.
BCV President Nelson Merentes explained that the new banknotes of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 bolivars will seek to facilitate transactions for the population.
“We have a family of six new banknotes, from 500 to 20,000 (bolivars), in this instance they are going to lighten the commercial transactions in which cash is needed. A bill of 500 replaces on of five, the one of 10,000 replaces those of 100 and so on, “explained BCV President Nelson Merentes.
The new bills will be adorned with the faces of Francisco de Miranda, Pedro Camejo, cacique Guaicaipuro, Luisa Cáceres de Arizmendi, Simón Rodríguez and Simón Bolívar, who were part of the independence process of Venezuela and Latin America, Merentes said.
With the exception of Simón Rodríguez, all these historical figures are already part of the previous currency to the point that the new bills will use the same portraits as in the previous ones.
On the back, the bills will be adorned with elements of native Venezuelan fauna such as the dolphin tonina, cachicamo, harpy eagle, hawksbill turtle, frontino bear and cardinalito bird, all of them also present on the current notes.
The now devalued currency and it notes came into circulation in 2008 with the introduction of the “strong bolivar”, a currency conversion program that sought to reduce the rate of inflation.
However, eight years later, Venezuela could conclude the year with inflation above 700 percent, the highest in the world according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This inflationary escalation made the current bills become impractical due to the high prices of the products.
Merentes did not accept questions or mention the escalation of inflation. He said that the new notes will arrive in the country starting December 15 and “will gradually be incorporated.”
The president of the BCV stressed that the new notes will repeat the pattern of the previous ones “because this is a design that won a world prize,” supposedly due to its artistic beauty and naturalistic elements.
The notes will be accompanied by new coins of 50, 100 and 200 bolivars, explained the president of the issuing entity.