Tag Archives: Venezuela

What Happens When Your Money Is Worthless? Living with a Devalued Currency


This is one of the most important and valued articles to help you prepare. I think it could be useful, based on our experience with the economic collapse and its effects on the currency. Let me tell you what life is really like when your country has a devalued currency that is nearly worthless.

How Do You Buy Things With Devalued Currency?

These last few days I was asked by a fellow prepper overseas how our internal trading, with such a devalued currency, was going on. He asked if we used silver coins and bartering. I answered him that we use mostly US dollars and Euros for large transactions like vehicles, land, and housing, as far as I know. But the reason people are mostly selling is that they are desperate to get out of the country, and the wealth they have accumulated in previous years vanishes, with the bad deals they seem forced to accept.


On the other hand, for day-to-day payments, bolivars are still used, but the prices go up (always UP by the way) depending on the black market dollar price. This is, though, a perfect evidence that this black market dollar is controlled by the government: look at the evolution price, and you will find it stable just before any important election, political campaigns and such.

This is no surprise, those who benefit the most from this black market are those “companies” that aligned with the dollar river… and nowadays that stream is getting dry.

Bad News For Oil Industry Workers

I received very bad news for those still working in the oil industry. So you can understand what is in store for the employees, I have to explain some background first.

As part of our monthly payment, we received a savings incentive: the company retained the 12.5% of our salary in their accounts until the end of the month, and provided another 12.5% (it sounds like a lot but it is not). So, by the end of the month, we had in the corporative account an additional 25%.

This was one of the main benefits for the oil state workers, and that helped to deal with the high performance demanded by the industry. This money, during better times, was kept there until the end of the year, for a new car, or starting a side business,  some fancy vacations, and stuff. However I never used it for traveling overseas, but invested in land, some prepping gear and equipment, assisting my parents and my wife’s family, and short family trips from time to time to the beach, or my folks’ place and such.

We had something like your 704(k), that could be retrieved from the corporate accounts to our payroll bank account. This supposedly was for the retirement of the employees. The economy tanked so fast that this is worthless now.

In one of the speeches a few days ago, the new “cryptocurrency” that is not such, the Petro, is going to substitute the national currency in the savings additions for the employees. My friends that still remain working there told that it was going to be an “option” at first.

But we all know that this is just a way to IMPOSE the Petro on the people and inject it in the national economy despite the US sanctioning. Add to this the fact that most of the workers have NO idea about how to trade with it, nor how to exchange it for food as they use to do with the savings incentive. See my point?. They cut off the employees revenue and give them a worthless “crypto” that is useless.  How is going to buy food with that a 58-year-old secretary, for example, without other computer skills than using the social networks, the email and word processors? Even worse, they are FORCING the employees to accept a currency that is prohibited by the US financial authorities, they will be subject to the sanctioning automatically, completely unwilling to trade with that crypto.

What concerns me the most, is that the presidential speech announced that everyone who wants to sell their properties will have to do it in cryptocurrency. (I have the audio file to prove it) This is nothing more than the imposition of the convertible Cuban peso. The hard currencies for the elites, the USDs and Euros, and the garbage currencies that they worked so hard to destroy, for the ignorant, starving masses.

The Dangers Of Alternative Trade

It is unlikely to see someone paying with silver coins, as far as I am aware. Bartering? Sure, but that is mostly in the rural communities. In the cities, bartering is not common. There are some brave initiatives to start paying employees with a dozen eggs a week, additional to the salary, as an incentive. I have seen it in the newspaper ads.

This said, I have seen real bargains in collectible coins, some silver 1-ounce coins memorabilia of our independence, called “Doblón” commonly found here, which means people have used them as wealth storage.


The problem is that if you need to buy food with devalued currency, perhaps you won’t get as much as you need. The currency will be valued by your seller. However, I am sure that if this becomes much more common, in the communities far away from the major cities some sort of local economy will soon be in place.

Some nuts are trying to impose an alternative currency named “Elorza” (you may want to google search it) in a frontier town with the same name in the Apure state. This, besides being illegal is delusional. Years ago I bought a couple of Doblón that were not cased; the following year I needed cash and wanted to sell them at the silver spot price with a plus but, the buyers that contacted me did not want to pay the fair price, even though the silver was down about $2 under the original price I paid for. So I went to a jeweler and could sell them there.

This means that they could be used as currency, but it depends on the culture of the society whether they will accept it or not. The total of those Doblón is 20.000, so their value should increase every year. There are some other commemorative coins, but people are negotiating them in dollars because most of the people want to leave the country.

There has been a place, in a major city, where you barter or exchange your goods for something else that you may need, but criminals made impossible to keep this kind of flea market in public places. I have received alarming reports from friends in the coastal fishing towns. The “colectivos” gang are now forcing the small fishermen to sell them their catch of the day at gunpoint. Ar-15s at the shoulder and all. Then they sell the fish to the people at 3 times the price they pay the fishermen.

The national guard and police do not get involved. They just receive their fee: milk crates filled up with devalued bills. The source of this information is highly trusted, so I can write about this with confidence. It was a friend of mine, a former co-worker who was there and saw everything from his car. His parents live in this coastal city, called Cumana. He was going to buy but after that, he decided to go to a supermarket. The beach market where people used to buy fresh at lower prices is no longer secure.

Other Types Of Enterprise

My father has been working over 25 years as a repairman for electrical farm equipment. Pumps, mill engines, alternators, generators, that kind of stuff. He has been lately charging his customers and receiving staples and supplies: corn flour, pasta, rice, even pork meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and such. When customers don’t have a way to pay, he has also made repairs and received as payment lots of old, worn, used spare parts that he  rebuilds whenever he finds some idle time. Once the parts are fully functional, he trades or sells them.

He is a smart trader and always get an edge on his deals. What the customers see as junk he knows that someone else will need it once it is repaired, and he has a good network. Almost everyday someone knocks at his door looking for a spare part. He has adapted all kind of equipment, even upgrading with modern, efficient components, or simplifying some complex control systems. He often gets the parts he has removed as part of his payment, and sometimes the clients are so happy and satisfied with their equipment being up and working again that they just give the parts away to him. So he has always has a lot of spares in his small workshop at home, and a captive market for this. My brother has been learning from him, and he is slowly gaining the needed skills to keep the family business running.

Suggestions For Preparing For a Time When Your Currency Has No Value

I would suggest that small, close communities who are self-reliance oriented start working on a plan with some guidelines in the macro aspects of the economy.

  • Which coins would be accepted, based on their precious metal content?
  • What about electronic devices like thumb drives, Sds, solar panels?
  • Think about everything that could have an intrinsic/bartering value.
  • YES, drinkable alcohol is one of the best currencies you could stockpile. Even better if you know how to produce it. I have known that our local beer factory in my former town is producing pumpkin and tapioca beer! Is that great or what?

Accumulation of some cash is good, even if it is devalued currency. It saved my sorry backside to be able to leave at the best possible time. But without the needed knowledge, skills and intuition about where things were really going, it would have been much more difficult.

Without the support of a vibrant community, survival will be much, much harder. This is one of my final deductions. This is what I have come with after witnessing how dispersed are my people, and how they don’t support each other.

Thanks for your support to the wonderful worldwide prepper community!

Stay safe.

NOTE: Jose’s wife and child have their plane tickets and are at last on their way out of Venezuela to join him! He is extremely grateful to those who have offered support and good wishes.

Source: Authored by J.G.Martinez via Daisy Luther’s Organic Prepper blog,

Venezuela Just Stopped Accepting US Dollars for Oil As Countries Join Forces to Kill US Petrodollar


In what is the latest move to undermine the imperial world order maintained by the United States, which is underpinned through use of the petrodollar as the world reserve currency, the Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuelan President Maduro has officially followed through on his threat to stop accepting US Dollars as payment for crude oil exports in the wake of recent US sanctions.

Last Thursday, President Nicolas Maduro said that if the US went ahead with the sanction, Venezuela would “free” itself from the US Dollar.

According to Reuters:

“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.”

Unsurprisingly, Maduro noted that his country would look to the BRICS countries, and begin using the Chinese yuan and Russian ruble instead — along with other currencies — to bypass the US Dollar stranglehold.

Rather than work diplomatically with other nations, the United States often uses sanctions to force compliance. Due to the dollar being accepted as the world’s reserve currency, almost all financial transactions are denominated in dollars. This phenomenon gives the US a powerful weapon to wield against states that refuse to follow US directives, and underpins the unipolar model of global domination exercised by the US.

Interestingly, the decision by Venezuela – the nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves – comes just days after China and Russia unveiled an Oil/Yuan/Gold plan at the recent annual BRICS conference. This plan would strongly undermine the hegemonic control the US enjoys over the global financial system.

During the BRICS conference, Putin unveiled a geopolitical/geoeconomic bombshell as he forwarded the notion of a “fair multipolar world.” He emphasized a stance “against protectionism and new barriers in global trade” — a reference to the manner in which US operates its empire to maintain primacy.


Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.

“To overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies” is simply a nice way of saying that the BRICS will create a system to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar, in an effort to undermine the unipolar paradigm embraced by the United States.

As we previously reported, China will soon launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan that is fully convertible into gold.

What this means is that countries who refuse to bend to the imperial will of the United States, i.e. Russia, Iran, etc., will now be able to bypass US sanctions by making energy trades in their own currencies, or in Chinese yuan – with the knowledge that they can convert the yuan into gold as added incentive/insurance/security.

The yuan will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges. Typically, crude oil is priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars.

“The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously,” said Luke Gromen, founder of U.S.-based macroeconomic research company FFTT.

This new paradigm of oil, yuan, and gold is, without question, an international game changer. The key takeaway here is that the US dollar can now be bypassed without so much as a second thought.

Russia and China – via the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China – have been steadily working on ruble-yuan swaps as a means of hedging against US hegemony.

There is a strategic movement to take these actions beyond the BRICS, first allowing aspiring “BRICS Plus” members, then entire Global South to divest themselves from dependence on the US dollar.

Essentially, Russia and China are working together to usher in a new paradigm of Eurasian integration, something that goes directly against US strategic doctrine – which dictates that Russia and China, the United States’ two main geopolitical rivals, should never be allowed to dominate Eurasia.

“In 2014 Russia and China signed two mammoth 30-year contracts for Russian gas to China. The contracts specified that the exchange would be done in Renminbi [yuan] and Russian rubles, not in dollars. That was the beginning of an accelerating process of de-dollarization that is underway today,” according to strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl.

Russia and China are now creating a new paradigm for the world economy and paving the way for a global de-dollarization, and Venezuela is just the beginning.

“A Russian-Chinese alternative to the dollar in the form of a gold-backed ruble and gold-backed Renminbi or yuan, could start a snowball exit from the US dollar, and with it, a severe decline in America’s ability to use the reserve dollar role to finance her wars with other peoples’ money,” Engdahl concludes.

Make no mistake that the BRICS are not only working to integrate Eurasia, but to geo-economically integrate the entire Global South under a new multipolar framework that treats states as equals, regardless of their power stature globally.

The Neolibcons in Washington – bent on eventual regime change in Russia and China – are in for an extremely rude awakening. Although the BRICS have their own structural economic problems, they have created a long-term plan that will change the face of geopolitics/geo-economics and degrade the imperialist will of those that wish to dictate and order the world as they see fit.

The DC War Party’s petrodollar imperialism, which funds the US war machine and allows for a constant war footing, is quickly running out of allies to maintain its global hegemony.

Video Commentary:

By Jay Syrmopoulos | Activist Post

OPEC Refuses to Cut Production, Oil Plunges off the Chart


   Oil rig in North Dakota. Increased US drilling is a factor in the current decline in prices.  This article by Wolf Richter

The global oil glut, as some call it, is caused by the toxic mix of soaring production in the US and lackluster demand from struggling economies around the world. Since June, crude oil prices have plunged 30%. It drove oil producers in the US into bouts of hand wringing behind the scenes, though they desperately tried to maintain brittle smiles and optimistic verbiage in public.

But everyone in the industry – particularly junk bondholders that have funded the shale revolution in the US – were hoping that OPEC, and not the US, would come to its senses and cut production.

So the oil ministers from OPEC members just got through with what must have been a tempestuous five-hour meeting in Vienna, and it was not pretty for high-cost US producers: the oil production target would remain unchanged at 30 million barrels per day.

“It was a great decision,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said with a big smile after the meeting.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states were thus overriding the concerns from struggling countries such as Venezuela which, at these prices – and they’re plunging as I’m writing this – will head straight into default, or get bailed out by China, at a price, whatever the case may be.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez emerged from the meeting, visibly steaming, and refused to comment.

The US benchmark crude oil grade, West Texas Intermediate, plunged instantly. Even before the decision, it was down 30% from its recent high in June. As I’m writing this, it crashed through the $70-mark without even hesitating. It currently trades for $68.51. Chopped down by a full third from the peak in June.

This is what that Thanksgiving plunge looks like:


Nigerian Oil Minister said OPEC and Non-OPEC producers should share responsibility to stabilize the markets. I don’t know what he was thinking; maybe some intervention by central banks around the world, such as the coordinated announcement of “QE crude infinity” perhaps?

Ecuadorian Oil Minister called the decision a rollover. However, the Iranian Oil Minister, whose country must have a higher price, kept a positive face, saying, “I’m not angry.”

The next OPEC meeting will be held in June, 2015. So this is going to last a while. And there is no deus ex machina on the horizon.

It seems OPEC, or rather Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf States, decided for now to live with the circumstances, to let the markets sort it out. High-cost producers around the world will spill red ink. Governments might topple. Junk bondholders and shareholders of oil-and-gas IPOs that have blindly funded the miraculous shale revolution in the US, lured by ever increasing hype, will watch more of their money go up in thick smoke.

And the bloodletting in the US fracking revolution will go on until the money finally dries up.