Venezuela warns about cybercrime

Venezuela, which like India has withdrawn its highest currency note from the market, has cautioned New Delhi about cyber crimes that target digital economy.

Speaking to The Hindu, Venezuelan ambassador Augusto Montiel refuted media reports of financial chaos gripping his country. The recalling of 100 Bolivar notes was not an overnight announcement and the programme was launched to contain the threat of international mafias, he said.

“Venezuela has the highest per head web connectivity in Latin America and we could have gone for digital economy. But several cyber attacks have shown us that the digital economy is in fact far more vulnerable to cyber attacks than real currency transactions,” Mr Motiel said. Venezuela’s telecom and banking sectors suffered a series of cyber attacks in 2016, which has prompted the government to stick to currency-based economy.

‘Not a sudden move’

“The recall of 100 Bolivar notes is aimed at neutralising the mafia networks based in Colombia and supported by Brazil and the United States who want to destabilise Venezuela financially and politically. This recall is not a sudden move, as Venezuelans were prepared through newspaper advertisements about the arrival of new currency notes which will reach the market from December 15,” said Mr. Montiel.

The envoy said that a vast part of Colombia had been dependent on Venezuela, where Bolivars were smuggled to serve as de facto local currency. This vast market had begun to support international narcotics and smuggled goods trade. “So much so, smuggled Venezuelan currencies were found in places like Ukraine. Roadside shops in Colombia were selling our currency before the currency-recall was declared,” he said.

Mr Montiel said Venezuela would be able to cleanse its economy of the influence of the Colombia-based mafia with the currency recall, which would help Caracas conduct risk-free trade with emerging economies.

Energy ties with India

“The opposition which is backed by the U.S. is trying to downgrade Venezuelan economy so that the western powers can gain control over the country and its hydrocarbon resources in the Hugo Chavez oil fields.”

He said Venezuela would further upgrade energy ties with India in the coming years.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 11:44:23 PM |

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