Various political opposition leaders are calling for a nationwide general strike to be held on Tuesday, August 21, to protest the government’s plan to redenominate the bolívar. President Nicolás Maduro has declared Monday, August 20, to be a non-working holiday as the new monetary policy comes into effect. Related demonstrations are expected to take place in major urban areas, particularly in Caracas. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated around all protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
When the redenomination takes effect on August 20, five zeros will be removed from every denomination of the country's currency, as newly issued "sovereign bolívars" replace bolívars currently in circulation.
The redenomination, originally intended to remove three zeros from each currency denomination, was announced scheduled for June 4, but was postponed for two months by President Maduro on May 29. Venezuela currently has the highest inflation rate in the world, projected by the IMF to reach 1,000,000 percent in 2018. The Venezuelan economy has been in a recession since 2014 and is expected to shrink 18 percent in 2018 amid the bolívar's hyperinflation.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to keep abreast of the situation. In general, persons in Venezuela are advised to strictly avoid all protests and political events due to the high likelihood of violence and to remain up to date on current sociopolitical developments.
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