Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the
U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports.
According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official
foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its
currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market),
along with a basket of currencies.
According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela’s current official exchange
rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars.
At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be
one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange
“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 a multi-hour address to a
new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new
that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among
“If they pursue us with the
dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the
euro,” Maduro also said.
Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil
reserves but has been undergoing a major crisis, with millions of
people going hungry inside the country which has been plagued with rampant,
increasing inflation. In that context, the recently established economic
blockade by the Trump administration only adds to the suffering of ordinary
Venezuelans rather than helping their plight.
According to Reuters, a thousand dollars’ worth of local currency obtained when Maduro
came to power in 2013 is now be worth little over one dollar.
A theory advanced in William R.
Clark’s bookPetrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the
mainstream media – essentially asserts that Washington-led interventions in the
Middle East and beyond are fueled by the direct effect on the U.S. dollar that
can result if oil-exporting countries opt to sell oil in alternative
currencies. For example, in 2000, Iraq announced it
would no longer use U.S. dollars to sell oil on the global market. It adopted
the euro, instead.
By February 2003, the Guardian reported that
Iraq had netted a “handsome profit” after making this policy change. Despite this, the U.S. invaded
not long after and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the U.S.
In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was
punished for a similar proposal to create a unified African
currency backed by gold, which would be used to buy and sell
African oil. Though it sounds like a ludicrous reason to overthrow a sovereign
government and plunge the country into a humanitarian crisis, Hillary Clinton’s
leaked emails confirmed this
was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown. The French were especially
concerned by Gaddafi’s proposal and, unsurprisingly, became one of the war’s main
contributors. (It was a French
Rafaele jet that struck Gaddafi’s motorcade, ultimately leading
to his death).
Now Venezuela may ultimately
join the bandwagon, all the while cozying up
to Russia, as well (unsurprisingly, Venezuela and Iran were identified in William
R. Clark’s book as attracting particular geostrategic tensions with the United
States). The CIA’s admission that
it intends to interfere inside Venezuela to exact a change of government —
combined with Trump’s recent threat of
military intervention in Venezuela and Vice President Mike Pence’s warning that
the U.S. will not “stand by” and watch Venezuela deteriorate — all start to
make a lot more sense when viewed through this geopolitical lens.
initially sounded like a conspiracy theory seems to be a more plausible reality
as countries that begin dropping the U.S. dollar and opting for alternative
currencies continuously — and without exception — end up targeted for regime
If the U.S. steps up its
involvement in Venezuela, the reasons why should be clear to those who have been