The “new” banknotes belonging to the Venezuelan money supply were printed in August 2016.
Venezuelans took to social media network Twitter to criticize the delay in circulation of the new bills, which began to circulate on Monday, January 16. Thus, the bills arrived in the hands of banks and consumers five months after their printing.
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“It is very clear…the detail: printed in August 2016,” economist Hasdrubal Oliveros published, next to a photo of the new 500 and 5,000 bolívar bank notes.
Economists have questioned Nicolás Maduro‘s explanation that the delay in the arrival of the new money supply is due to an intervention by the United States that supposedly seeks to undertake an “economic war” against Venezuela.
“Interesting that all the dates indicate that the bills were printed in August 2016, right?” And “with issue date of August 2016…It’s even harder to understand the five month delay,” wrote other users who also posed with photographs of the new paper money.
Nicolás Maduro announced on Sunday the third extension, for one more month, of circulation of the new 100 bolivar note. Last December 11, Maduro gave Venezuelans 72 hours to turn in their old 100 bolivar notes, which led to looting and protests over the extremely short window that citizens had to turn them into banks.
The Venezuelan government has yet to explain why the new bills were printed five months ago, especially given that it was only in December that Maduro “suddenly’ ordered the suspension of what was then Venezuela’s largest denomination of bank note.
It seems unlikely that problems related to Venezuela’s money supply are due to “international sabotage” if the notes were printed five months ago, but not introduced into circulation.
Financial news agency Bloomberg contradicted the Venezuelan regime in an article in which they suggest that the new bills were not placed into circulation in Venezuela for lack of payment, not due to “sabotage” on the part of the United States.
The executive branch and the Venezuelan Central Bank promised that the new notes would arrive on December 15; however that promise was not fulfilled. Maduro went so far as to attribute the delay to an “order of the Department of the Treasury” of the United States, which prevented planes filled with new bank notes from arriving.
But a source quoted by Bloomberg said that Venezuela had problems paying for the total amount of the printing costs, which was likely to have generated the delay in their circulation.
After a month of additional waiting, on Monday, January 16 the government began to circulate the new 500 and 5,000 bolivar notes, but they are postponing until February 20 the circulation of the 100 bolivar notes (USD $ 0.04), according to an official announcement by Nicolás Maduro.
Currently, Venezuela is experiencing a severe shortage in its money supply, as the government has only issued 18.7% of the money that circulated in 100 bolivar notes during the past year 2016.
Venezuela announced in June the introduction of the 500 and 1,000 bolivar bills, but it was on December 7th that the Central Bank of Venezuela officially introduced and announced the new money supply.