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Violence erupts as Venezuelans scramble to replace void banknote

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By Euronews
Violence erupts as Venezuelans scramble to replace void banknote

Police have opened fire on protesters in parts of Venezuela after looting broke out due to a severe cash crisis.

It follows a move by the Latin American country’s Socialist government to pull the nation’s most widely used banknote from circulation.

Amid the highest inflation rate in the world, the 100 bolivar bill was worth just two US cents before it ceased to be legal tender last week.

Despite promises from President Nicolas Maduro, that new, higher denominated cash bills were ready, they are nowhere to be seen, leaving most Venezuelans without any viable currency.

“I have been here since four o’clock yesterday afternoon. I’ve not had any lunch or breakfast because of these damn bills that nobody wants anywhere,” said one woman outside a bank.

The latest wave of economic chaos in Venezuela has sparked panic resulting in large queues outside banks as people scramble to deposit and replace the worthless bills.

Many cash points are reported to be broken or empty, or even still distributing the defunct currency, forcing many people to rely on credit cards and bank transfers to get by.