Caracas, January 23, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the appointment of a new head of the country’s Central Bank (BCV) Sunday following the resignation of current president Nelson Merentes, who occupied the position since 2009.
According to international news agency Reuters, Merentes stepped down from the post after Maduro officially asked him for his resignation last Friday.
The head of state tapped for the post economist Ricardo Sanguino, a United Socialist Party legislator who has served in parliament since 2000 and is the body’s longest serving member.
As the former head of the National Assembly’s finances commission for 10 years, Sanguino authored the Organic Law of the Venezuelan Central Bank, which is the definitive legal framework of the institution.
“I want to begin a new stage in the development of the Venezuelan Central Bank in the struggle against the internal and international mafias that attack our currency,” he declared during his television program “Sundays with Maduro”.
The move follows the government’s chaotic attempt to withdraw from circulation the 100 bolivar bill last month, which was encumbered by the delayed arrival of the new higher denomination banknotes. The government has extended the circulation of the 100 bolivar bills until February 20, while the 500, 5,000, and 20,000 notes became available last week.
Maduro stressed the economist’s qualifications, who he said was “one of the most studied and knowledgeable people regarding the financial and monetary life of the country”.
Under Venezuela’s constitution, the National Assembly must confirm the new BCV president. However, since the body has been declared “null and void” by the Supreme Court amid an ongoing constitutional dispute, the confirmation of the nominee will fall to the nation’s highest court.