President Maduro Says Petro Crypto Expected To Be Used To Pay For Venezuela’s Oil Next Year
Venezuela has been struggling with hyperinflation for over five years now, and the economy continues to suffer as a result. Citizens have died of starvation, unable to even buy a meal for their family, while others look outside of the country to find something to eat. The original solution that President Nicolas Maduro brought in five months ago was a government-backed cryptocurrency called Petro.
The coin was named for the thriving oil industry in Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the entire world. However, rather than bringing in the money to their own country, tens of thousands of barrels of oil are given to Cuba daily for absolutely no cost. However, the government insisted that the same would not be done with the Petro.
At the time, Maduro said,
“In 2019 we have a schedule for [oil] to be sold in Petros and in this way continue to free us from a currency that the elite of Washington uses. Russia is buying and selling oil and derivatives in yuan (…) We are progressively going to sell all our oil production in Petros.”
However, now, five months later, the president has announced that the token will be used in the sale of oil.
A report issued by local news network TeleSUR on Thursday said that the goal of using the Petro is to reduce the role played by the US dollar in their industry and expand the global market.
In a statement to the press, Maduro said,
“In 2019, we have a schedule for [oil] to be sold in Petros and in this way continue to free us from a currency that the elite of Washington uses.”
Based on the information available to the state-backed media outlet, there’s apparently a six-year financial plan in place that will allow the government to ease the impact of the US sanctions with the token. The notification to residents about this plan followed a meeting that Maduro held with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Maduro commented on his intention to follow Russian’s lead, considering their current experience with the trading of oil and other commodities in Chinese yuan. Last month, Venezuela’s minister of petroleum and the president of state-owned oil company PDVSA, Manuel Quevedo, had decided to present the Petro during a meeting with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2019. When it is presented, it is planned to be toted as the “main digital currency backed by oil.”
Petro was officially in the pre-sale stage in February, though Maduro has already made the transition to make it part of their economy’s infrastructure. However, before the launch even happened, the local congress attempted to stifle it, saying that the practice of borrowing against oil reserves was illegal. Still, the sale of the Petro to residents started on a government portal two months ago, requiring users to use it for the purchase of passports.