efe-epaCaracas

The president of Venezuela on Thursday decided to lop three zeros off the country's inflation-ridden currency, the bolivar, taking effect from June 4, as part of his economic measures to "guarantee commercial activities. "

"I have decided to reduce three zeros of the currency and take out of circulation the current bills and put into circulation new bills," Nicolas Maduro said during a broadcast on state channel VTV.

The president said that this new monetary denomination, which replaces the one he established only in Jan. 2017, will help the government fight the "economic war of financial persecution", which he claimed was masterminded by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos with the help of Venezuelan opposition deputy Julio Borges.

"That war is directed from Colombia, personally directed by Juan Manuel Santos, advised by Julio Borges," he said, while also accusing them of "stealing" the country's oil money.

However, 500 bolivars, the new maximum denomination of the country's bills, amount to only $0.01, according to the official exchange rate of 43,980 bolivars per one dollar.

According to the president, this measure represents "the defense of the bolivar" and that these new bills will be known as "sovereign bolivar".

"There are those who propose to dollarize the Republic, no, Venezuela will not be a colony of the dollar, we will defend the Petro (the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency), we will defend the monetary, economic and financial sovereignty of the country, "he added.

Venezuela's new set of monetary denomination will consist of two coins, one of 0.50 cents of a bolivar ($0.00001) and the other of one bolivar ($0.00002).

In addition there will be bills of two bolivars ($0.00004), five bolivars ($0.0001), 10 bolivars ($0.0002), 20 bolivars ($0.0004), 50 bolivars ($0.001), 100 bolivars ($0.002), 200 bolivars ($0.004) and 500 bolivars ($0.01).