Monthly pensions converted without consent to Petro: has Venezuela gone too far?
In a bold move to streamline their national cryptocurrency, the petro, Venezuela has converted pensioners’ monthly stipend into the questionable cryptocurrency without their consent. Not surprisingly, many in the country who heavily rely on the monthly allowance are angered and confused as to what happened to their money.
According to news organization Caracas Chronicles, on Dec. 7th users of the pension service received two text messages. The first informed them that their monthly pension, the primary income for many in the region, had been dispersed. However, the second stated that instead of being paid in bolivar, the country’s main currency, their funds were instead converted into petro.
Naturally many were perplexed. Could they exchange the petro for bolivar? Without a Petro Wallet how would they access their funds? This isn’t the first attempt by the Venezuelan government to push petro on its people. Earlier this year the government was highly criticized after two of the country’s largest banks began displaying account balances in both bolivar and petro units, a service no one asked for, nor seemed to want.
While changing the way customers’ account balances are displayed isn’t too intrusive, this new move by the government is almost beyond belief. Already plagued by the troubles of inflation, Venezuelan citizens will now have to navigate through a flawed system in order to acquire the money required to survive.