DESTROYING THE DOLLAR: Venezuela and Russia to begin trading in rubles

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The Venezuelan ambassador to the UN’s representation in Geneva, Jorge Valero, said that talks are currently being held with Russia on the use of the ruble in bilateral transactions.

“Yes, we now try to conduct our [financial] operations through another currency, including the crypto-currency ‘petro’, which we have created,” Valero reports.

Valero underlined that a dialogue with Moscow is underway on the issue of changeover to the use of the Russian currency, the ruble.

The petro was launched on February 20. Venezuela was the first country with its own crytocurrency, which is supported by oil reserves. In the beginning, Maduro fixed the value of 1 petro per 1 barrel of Venezuelan oil, or 60 dollars, which now equals 9,000 bolivars according to the official quotation.

According to the ambassador, the sanctions introduced by the US against Venezuela and the blocking of Venezuelan bank accounts in dollars have negatively influenced the country’s economy. Now Caracas has problems in access to international financing, investments in the oil sector and in the restructuring of its foreign debt.

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On January 28 Washington announced the introduction of more sanctions, this time against the national oil and gas company PDVSA.

Elsewhere with Venezuela, US authorities arrested four activists protesting outside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington at the request of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the State Department said on Thursday.

“Carlos Vecchio has requested US assistance to clear the embassy of invaders,” the spokesman said.

The four activists belong to the Embassy Protection Collective, a group of citizens who had lived inside the embassy since April 24, at the invitation of Venezuelan diplomats, to prevent the US and Venezuelan opposition from taking over the work in the building.

The State Department spokesman reiterated the US view that self-proclaimed but only recognized by 50 countries interim president Guaido has legal authority over the Venezuelan embassy in Washington.

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