17:50 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with deputies of Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV) and ministers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, in this handout picture provided by Miraflores Palace on January 22, 2016

    Maduro Blames American Dolartoday Website for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

    © REUTERS / Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters
    Latin America
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    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the economic crisis his country is experiencing on the American Dolartoday website, which provides black market exchange rates.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The exchange rate of the Venezuelan bolivar cannot be accessed by the country’s citizens as it is prohibited by the government. Thus, only black market exchange rates are available.

    "It's a fictitious, false, parasitic and speculative dollar that has done great harm to Venezuela during 2013, 2014 and 2015," Maduro declared on Wednesday, as quoted by Noticias 24.

    Dolar Today, an American website founded in 2010, has been used by various financial websites and media reporting on the Venezuelan exchange rate. Maduro banned the website in 2013, accusing it of manipulation and of fueling an economic war against his government.

    In January, Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela. The announcement came two days after Venezuela’s oil price dropped to $24 a barrel, the lowest mark in 12 years. Up to 96 percent of Venezuela’s budget depends on oil revenues.

    Maduro accepted partial blame for the economic situation in the country in an address to the National Economic Council, stressing that Venezuela needs to replace all sources of income from oil with other sources.

    Public discontent with Maduro’s government has been growing in Venezuela amid grave economic problems, largely contributing to the victory of the opposition MUD (Democratic Unity Roundtable) group in the December 2015 parliamentary elections.

    Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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