Venezuela Extends Use of 100-Bolivar Bill Following Protests | NBC Southern California
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Venezuela Extends Use of 100-Bolivar Bill Following Protests

Venezuela is plagued by the world's highest inflation

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Fernando Llano, AP
    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters upon his arrival to a rally at Bolivar Avenue in Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 17, 2016.

    Venezuela's government on Saturday extended the use of its 100-bolivar bill until Jan. 2, after its decision to pull the banknote out of circulation left the country largely without cash, and sparked protests and looting.

    President Nicolas Maduro said the decision to put Venezuela's most widely used note back in use came after the promised higher-denomination replacement bills were still unavailable because three planes transporting them were "victims of sabotage." He did not give details of the alleged sabotage.

    Man Sees Vera Wang Diamond Ring on Sidewalk, Finds Its Owner

    [NATL] Man Finds Vera Wang Diamond Engagement Ring on Sidewalk, Tracks Down Its Owner

    Imagine looking down and finding a pristine diamond ring lying on the sidewalk. That was how Glenn Weddell found a Vera Wang diamond ring one afternoon in Sacramento, California. But instead of keeping it, Weddell hunted down the distraught owner to return the ring in a happy reunion. His method involved posting a sign to a tree downtown and hoping for the best. 

    (Published Thursday, April 27, 2017)

    The "new logistics" of rolling out the new banknotes, including the 500-bolivar bill, meant that their launch would just have to wait, Maduro said in a televised address.

    Venezuela is plagued by the world's highest inflation, and Maduro made the surprise announcement that the 100-bolivar note would be replaced a week ago. All week, Venezuelans waited in long lines to deposit their soon-to-be-worthless 100-bolivar notes in banks.

    When the bill went out of circulation on Friday and the replacement bills had not yet arrived at banks or ATMs, people were forced to rely on credit cards or bank transfers, or to try to make purchases with bundles of hard-to-find smaller bills often worth less than a penny each.

    Anger at having to deal with an economy even more paralyzed than usual exploded in social unrest.

    Flyer Protections on Overbooked Plane Flights

    [NATL] Flyer Protections on Overbooked Plane Flights

    NBC reports on the steps that flyers and travelers can take to protect themselves, and their vacation, from an overbooked flight.

    (Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

    "Our children are going hungry," said Lucrecia Morales in Caracas. "We are parents who earn money with the sweat off our brows? And now they say it is worthless? We need a solution."

    Authorities said there were protests and looting on Friday in at least six cities, including Maracaibo, where police put down looting near a bank building, and the eastern state of Bolivar, where mobs looted several businesses. Young men waved their 100-bolivar bills in the air and chanted "they're useless," then turned and ran as police in full riot gear began firing tear gas canisters.

    In Caracas, people banged on pots and cursed the government's apparent lack of planning. There was no cash to be seen changing hands on the street or inside shops.

    On Saturday, in addition to putting the old currency back in circulation, Maduro said he would extend the closure of the border with Colombia and Brazil until Jan. 2. He has said the move aims to thwart "mafias" who hoard bolivars, leading critics to mock the notion that gangsters would choose to keep their wealth in the world's fastest-devaluing currency. The 100-bolivar bill is worth little more than 2 cents.

    New Artificial Wombs Stimulates Mom for Preemies

    [NATL] New Artificial Wombs Stimulates Mom for Preemies

    A new invention from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia may soon care for extremely premature babies. Artificial wombs stimulate an environment similar to a mother's womb - a method that researchers say is gentler than ventilators and incubators. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

    Only foot traffic for family visits will be allowed, he said. 

    Despite the closure, dozens of Venezuelans knocked down barricades set up on the bridge between Urena, Venezuela and Cucuta, Colombia to cross over and buy food.

    The currency chaos comes as the oil-rich nation struggles with a contracting economy and empty store shelves. Venezuela has maintained strict currency controls since 2003.