Carabobo, Bolívar and the bolívar | Luis Britto Garcia


Revolution is a profound change in control over the means of production and in the distribution of the goods they create. Venezuela's fight for its independence is also a battle for its own monetary system. The Homeland goes as far as its laws and its currency apply.


During the 21th century the main income came from the export of cocoa to Mexico, paid in silver macuquino pesos. After the Declaration of Independence, the Federal Constitution for the States of Venezuela of December 1811, 71, establishes in Article XNUMX that “Congress will have full power and authority (…) -To mint and beat currency, determine its value and the of the foreign ones, to introduce the one of paper if it were necessary, and to fix uniformly the weights and measures in all the extension of the Confederation ”. They are full monetary powers, powers to set the exchange rate with foreign currencies and even issue paper money, which, according to Bolívar criticizes in the Cartagena Manifesto, citizens "saw with more horror than servitude" due to its devaluation.


The terrible vicissitudes of the Patriotic War and the discrediting of the first paper money mean that realistic monetary species continue to circulate. But it is the Liberator's constant concern to establish a monetary system of its own in the liberated areas. When Pablo Morillo invaded Margarita on May 12, 1815, he assaulted a Mint where the patriots minted Macuquino pesos. The Peacemaker stamped new pesos with a monarchical seal in the Royal Mint of Caracas, nicknamed "morilleros."


With the triumphant return of patriotic weapons, the fight for a proper and legitimate monetary system returns. On June 22, 1818, Bolívar wrote to General Monagas from Angostura that in Villa del Pao "false currency from which that province is flooded" is manufactured, and orders "to discover the false purses to have them tried and the law applied ”. In the Constitution of Angostura of 1819, Article 6 of the First Section of Title 6 guideline that "are exclusively attributions of Congress: (...)" Sixth: Determine the value, weight, type and name of the currency that will be uniform throughout the Republic. " In Title 6, Section One, in the fifth attribution of Article 7, "a national bank is established." The most widespread and everyday symbol of the establishment of the Republic is a coin of stable value that identifies it and that imposes the republican stamp on each transaction. Already on November 21, 1819, in Sabana Larga, Bolívar applied the new Constitution decreeing that it be minted again, with the seal of the bust of India, "the currency that is amortized in the Casa de Moneda de Santa Fe, which it will circulate in all the free provinces of New Granada and Venezuela ”.


The republican arms sweep the royalists in Carabobo on June 24, 1821. Already on July 18, 1821, in the so-called Constitution of Cúcuta, Article 55 provides that “they are exclusively attributions of Congress: (…) Fifth: Establish a national bank; Sixth: Determine and standardize the value, weight, type and name of the currency ”. The Liberator will dedicate the remaining years of his life to consolidate Greater Colombia, liberate Peru and Bolivia, reorganize the Public Treasury and implement the official republican currency.


On September 22, 1830, the Constitution by which Venezuela separates from Gran Colombia is sanctioned. The Liberator expires on December 17, 1830. With his death a process of recolonization begins to reverse everything that has been achieved in Carabobo. On December 30 of that year, our Ministry of Finance actually legitimized the circulation of coins from Spain, Denmark, France, England, Ireland, Portugal, Holland, Russia, Sweden and the United States by setting their official exchange rate with strong and macuquino cents. Just in 1842 a copper penny and national stamp was established, and on March 31, 1879, Guzmán Blanco created the silver bolívar as a monetary unit.


Since 1916, Venezuela has exported oceans of oil through which we only get a few dollars that the oil companies pay as taxes and the governments transfer to the oligarchies through subsidies, contracts and foreign exchange at preferential rates, so that they can escape them abroad. To the extreme that only between 2003 and 2014 329.756 million dollars are transferred from the Public Treasury to a private sector whose exports do not contribute more than 2,5% of the foreign exchange that enters us.


To stop it, Chávez sanctioned the Decree with the rank, value and force of the Law of the Exchange Regime and its illicits, which restrictively provided which State bodies could sell foreign currency to individuals, for what and at what price, and the penalties for infringement. "Not a dollar more for the coup plotters," Chávez proclaimed. "If we remove the exchange control, they will knock us down," insisted Aristóbulo Istúriz in 2016. Despite its repeated violation, this Decree Law prevented the leakage of 422.669 million dollars between 2003 and 2014, and in 2018 we kept about 8.756 million of dollars in reserves, which prevented the country from being declared in "default" or bankrupt.


In 2018 it was repealed, perhaps with the hope that the oligarchies that had escaped oceans of dollars and only contributed 2,5% of the foreign exchange that it enters to the country, would return them to us and the dollar would become the country's currency. It was the program of the opposition presidential candidate Henry Falcón. It did not happen that way. Últimas Noticias of May 1, 2021 reveals a survey according to which of our monetary circulation only 13,2% is made in dollars in cash, and 1,7% in dollars by transfer. The origin of these currencies is terrifying: perhaps corruption and money laundering. On the other hand, a country's money supply is roughly half its GDP. With laws that exempt foreign capital from paying taxes, it is impossible for the Government to collect that magnitude of dollars, and even less to transfer them to capitalists who would flee them immediately. The country thus remains between a recolonized minority that charges in foreign currency and a vast majority that does not have access to it. Through Bolívar and through the bolívar a new Carabobo proceeds.


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