Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dollar Exchanges populate Venezuelan - Columbian Border
“I have to change money here because in Venezuela it’s not allowed,” Posse said in an interview at his hotel in Cucuta, northeastern Colombia, last month. At home, “I apply for official dollars for my business but they never approve it.”
Exchange houses in Colombian border towns like Cucuta have become the only “liquid market” in trading of bolivars for dollars after President Hugo Chavez banned currency trading last May and required banks to use a state-run market, said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University.
“It’s a desperate situation for businesses, especially in Venezuela where everything is imported,” said Juan Pablo Fuentes, Latin American economist at Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia. “These currency controls are like a game. The government looks to fence you in and you are always looking to find the exit.”