Maduro to sell Venezuelan oil in currencies other than U.S. dollar

CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced his government will sell oil and other commodities in currencies other than the dollar, in a bid to weather U.S. sanctions on the embattled South American country.

“I have decided to start selling oil, gas, gold and all other products that Venezuela sells with new currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen, the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee among others,” the socialist president said during a television broadcast on Friday.

“An economy free from the US imperialist system is possible.”

Washington’s tough new sanctions on Caracas bar U.S. banks from trading in new bonds issued by the government or the state run oil company PDVSA. The goal is to restrict Venezuela’s access to vital bond and equity markets.

The aim is to “deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule,” the White House said.

The country has to make $3.8 billion in debt payments in October and November, while its foreign currency reserves have sunk under $10 billion.