June 1 marked a day of changing times in Venezuela. The price of gasoline in the country has been among the lowest in the world for decades, and in recent years, currency depreciation has made the resource practically free.
For years, Venezuela’s currency (currently the VES, was VEF) was the only currency legal to use within the country. However, with hyperinflation and a rapidly depreciating currency, using the VES was often difficult. Although not technically legal, transactions would often still occur using U.S. dollars, as it is a stable currency.
While the official exchange rate for Venezuelan Bolivares Fuertes is USD1.00=VEF10.00, the black market rate in Caracas on Friday, April 24th reached 4711.73 bolivars per USD