Sunday, December 18, 2016

Venezuela trying to roll back disastrous cash gambit, but riots continue. Hundreds of arrests so far, and one death

Last week's sudden announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes led to massive lines at banks, a dramatic spurt in electronic payment and widespread fear by poorer people with no bank accounts and all their savings in the doomed bills, whose value had already plunged to a few U.S. cents. Cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline became extremely difficult.

Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2

Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities and Maduro said Sunday more than 300 people had been detained, including several members of opposition parties ....