Venezuelan Protests Against Petro Begin: Pensioners Taking to the Streets

Venezuelan organizations of pensioners congregated recently to openly reject the payment of pensions in Petros, a state-backed cryptocurrency, according to local outlet Aporrea. Pensioners are demanding to be paid in the country’s national fiat currency. 

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Venezuelan Pensioners Want Fiat

The rumored intention of the Venezuelan government paying pensions with their official cryptocurrency, the Petro, has not been well received by organizations of pensioners. They’re now protesting this unilateral measure that will force them receive Petros and go through a long process for exchanging them.

Hundreds of workers and pensioners protested recently in front of the Office of the Public Attorney, located in the capital of the country, where they asked to be paid in fiat currency instead of Petros, and be able to jump the long process of exchanging these crypto assets into VES. One of the protesters, Luis Cano, president of a Defense Front of Pensioners explained his discontent with this measure.

Venezuelan Protests Against Petro Begin: Pensioners Taking to the Streets

“We are here in Carabobo Park to protest another run over by the Venezuelan government that started paying pensions in Petros this December. We have never authorized them to pay us in Petros,” Cano declared to local media.

This constitutes the first organized protest against the use of the national cryptocurrency for any kind of payments in the country. Many pensioners also declared that for them it is difficult to manage the national cryptocurrency through the centralized Patria (Motherland) exchange system.

The Push for Petro

The Venezuelan government has been lately pushing for the adoption of the Petro, even going through the task of announcing some linking it to vital services, like passport issuance and other identification services, making them only available through Petro. They were largely ignored at the time because the state crypto wasn’t fully functioning yet.

Venezuelan Protests Against Petro Begin: Pensioners Taking to the Streets

Despite this, they also pushed a Petro based savings plan to the national community, advertising the new cryptocurrency as a safe way to earn dividends every three months. The government’s aggressive polices might have found their match in pensioners, however.

Cano and other pensioners stated they will keep protesting until they receive their pensions in fiat deposited in their bank accounts as they did before. Venezuelan pensioners receive 4,500 VES monthly, a sum that roughly equates 4 dollars at the time of publication. The Venezuelan currency devalues hourly and prices change in stores from one day to another.

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