efe-epaBy Sabela Bello Caracas

The hyperinflation of Venezuela's bolivar has forced leftist President Nicolas Maduro's administration to put aside its longstanding criticism of the United States dollar and reluctantly accept the greenback as the nation's de facto currency.

Maduro, in fact, admitted late last year that the currency of his country's most bitter rival offers an escape valve amid devastating US sanctions on the country's lifeblood oil industry, even telling local television channel Televen "thank God" for dollarization.