Airlines must pay for fuel in petro, says Venezuela's Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that airlines flying from Caracas, the capital city of the country, must pay for fuel in petro cryptocurrency.

Maduro announced the news at his annual speech to the ruling Constituent Assembly on Tuesday, as reported by France24. "I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA [Venezuelan state-owned oil company] for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on," said the president. 

Maduro did not specify whether the initiative applies to Venezuelan airlines alone or international carriers as well.

The president reportedly also said that taxes and utility bills will be paid for in petros going forward. “We’re opening a path to a new economy, to break old protocols and bureaucracies,” he added.

Venezuela has been taking several measures to boost the adoption of petro. Earlier this month, Maduro said the country will sell oil and part of the gold it produces for petro. The country’s cryptocurrency was announced in Oct. 2017, and its sales began in Feb. 2018, but it has failed to take off.

“Many people don’t want to move to the Petro because their business is in dollars. We will look at them closely. The Petro will cut the mafias’ hands off,” Maduro said in Tuesday’s speech.