Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has authorized all savings banks in the country to mine and use the recently launched national cryptocurrency, the petro. Union leaders are outraged by the suggestion, calling the petro a scam, accusing Maduro of abusing his power, and declaring the idea unconstitutional.
Savings Banks Asked to Mine & Use Petro
Maduro has “authorized all savings banks in the country to join the cryptocurrency production system and acquire the petro to contribute the benefits to their workers,” according to the government’s website. He explained that:
The proposal came after several meetings held by the superintendent of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, Carlos Vargas, with more than 1,400 savings banks in the country.
His announcement, which was broadcasted nationwide, proposes that “savings banks could develop mining farms throughout the national territory to increase the benefits for more than six million workers,” the website states.
According to Maduro, savings banks can mine the cryptocurrency using the state-provided petro container.
Union Leaders Outraged
Following the president’s announcement that savings banks could “develop mining farms” and “acquire petros for [their] workers”, El Nacional reported on Thursday that “Union leaders rejected the use of the petro in savings banks.”
Ana Yanez, the national coordinator of the National Union of Workers (Unete), told the publication that “there is a total disagreement within the union regarding the use of cryptocurrencies in savings banks.” Citing that everything “imposed by the Executive to the workers is null and void for the unions,” he detailed:
That seems to us an abuse of power and a totalitarianism. In addition, it [the petro] is a virtual currency that violates the Constitution. As workers, we disagree that this cryptocurrency is imposed on us.
Servando Carbone, the national coordinator of the National Federation of Public Sector Workers (Fntsp), told the news outlet that “the petro is a scam,” and they “strongly reject the use of cryptocurrencies in savings banks.”
He added that “the petro is an invention of the government to launder drug money” and warned that “if they are forced to use the petro, they will go out to the streets to protest,” the news outlet conveyed.
Furthermore, the secretary general of the union representing oil workers in Falcon state, Iván Freites, showed his disapproval for the petro, “mainly for the use of oil reserves to sustain it,” the publication noted and quoted him explaining:
We who are oil workers know what the cost of bringing a barrel of oil means. That [Marudo’s action] is a dictatorial measure that is taken against the Venezuelan workers.
Do you think savings banks should mine and use the petro? Do you think Maduro will force them to? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.
Nicolas Maduro Image via Getty Images