Venezuelan Central Bank Authorizes Banks to Sell Dollars from Gasoline Sales

The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) issued a memo addressed to banks authorized to operate in the foreign exchange market, authorizing them to sell the cash they receive from the sale of gasoline.

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“They must proceed from their positions to the sale of foreign currency in cash derived from the exchange operations at retail, the product of the commercialization of the liquid fuel, through the respective Exchange Tables,” indicates the communication of the BCV sent this June 19 to the press.

US sanctions caused severe gasoline shortages from March to June, affecting millions of Venezuelans and was only solved after Iran sent 5 tankers loaded with gasoline and chemicals needed for the refining process. An adjustment in fuel prices was announced by President Maduro and also the sale of gasoline was authorized in privately owned gas stations at international prices, meaning 50 US cents per liter.

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The text explains that the service stations must take the money (foreign currency) that results from sales to the bank and change it to bolivars in order to pay the corresponding amount to Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), because this state institutions cannot move foreign currencies locally. With this resolution, banks have the authorization to negotiate this cash at the exchange tables operating in Venezuela since the relaxation of exchange rate controls in August 2018.

Currently Venezuela is affected by a drought of cash in Bolivars but also in US dollars. This decision might be pointing at an easing of the negative effect of this phenomena in the economy heavily affected at all levels by illegal US sanctions. They aim at provoking the oust of President Maduro but, in reality, affect millions of ordinary Venezuelans that support their government even more when is so evident that the US is the main opposition force behind destabilization in Venezuela.

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