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Venezuela and Brazil on brink of war, Venezuela sinking into chaos

Staff Writer | August 19, 2018
Venezuela will begin issuing new banknotes on Monday after slashing five zeroes off the crippled bolivar.
LatAm   Each petro will be worth around $60
The new sovereign bolivar, named as such to distinguish it from the current bolivar, will be anchored to Venezuela's widely discredited cryptocurrency, the petro.

Each petro will be worth around $60, based on the price of a barrel of the country's oil.

That will be 3,600 sovereign bolivars in the new currency, which signals a massive devaluation.

In addition, the minimum wage will be fixed at half a petro (1,800 sovereign bolivars) from Monday.

This is about $28, more than 34 times the previous level of less than a dollar at the prevailing black market rate.

According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation will reach a staggering 1,000,000% this year.

Brazil's President Michel Temer called an emergency meeting of key ministers Sunday after ordering troops to the border with Venezuela as regional tensions build over the exodus from its crisis-hit neighbor.

The move comes after residents in the border town of Pacaraima clashed violently with Venezuelan migrants, driving them out of makeshift camps in the town.

Temer was meeting at his presidential palace in Brasilia with key ministers, including those of defense, public security and foreign affairs.

The situation in Pacaraima, on the opposite side of the border to the Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, was calm early Sunday, partly because locals managed to force out Venezuelans living on the street since fleeing their country's economic and social crisis.

"More than 1,200 Venezuelan migrants returned to Venezuela," after Saturday's violence, a spokesman for a Brazilian migration task force told AFP.

"The city looks deserted today, it's very quiet because police reinforcements have arrived and the markets are reopening," said a local in the town of around 12,000, who did not wish to be identified.

The public security ministry announced it was sending a contingent of 60 troops due to arrive Monday to join teams in the area.