(CARACAS) In an effort to stanch the eroding value of Venezuelan currency, President Hugo Chávez has issued a new currency with a new name, the “Bárbara.”
Chávez hopes to stem the steep tide of inflation by lopping off approximately two zeros and turning the 1000 bolivar coin into a coin valued at 12-1/2 “fuerte” or “strong” bolivars.
Chávez has nicknamed the new coin Bárbara because its copper color closely matches Barbara Walters’s henna hair. In addition, Barbara’s recent interview broadcast on ABC’s Good Morning America has “restored my currency as the most important leader of the Western Hemisphere.”
In her March 16th interview with Chávez, Walters called Chávez a “dignified man” and forgave him for calling President Bush a “devil” and a “donkey.”
Barbara added that Chávez “is not the crazy man that we have heard,” referring to Chávez’s famous rant earlier this year at the UN when he compared Bush to Satan.
“[Chávez] cares very much about poverty,” Barbara continued, explaining how he helped bring oil to the poor of the United States this winter. “This is a very intelligent man.”
Chávez dismisses his critics’ assessment that his takeover of oil, electric and phone companies, or his price fixing of commodities, or the exodus of foreign capital from Venezuela has anything to do with this year’s 20% spike in inflation, the highest in Latin America. “What else would you expect capitalists to say?”
Instead, Chávez blames food hoarders and black marketeers, which he called “puercos sucios” or “dirty pigs,” for jacking up prices on a broad range of commodities.