Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuela Central Bank sues US-based DolarToday website

A cashier counts Venezuelan bolivar notes at a supermarket checkout line in Caracas (20/10/2015) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Venezuela has one of the highest inflation rates in the world

Venezuela's central bank has filed a lawsuit at a court in Delaware against the US-based website DolarToday .

It accuses the website of cyberterrorism and says its managers are sowing economic chaos in Venezuela.

The central bank requested both an injunction and damages, accusing the site's managers of fanning inflation in the country.

DolarToday tracks the black market value of the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar.

It values the bolivar at a far lower rate than the official one.

On Friday DolarToday said a dollar would buy 820 bolivars while Venezuela's strongest official rate is 6.3 bolivars to the dollar and the weakest 200.

Venezuela uses a three-tier system to subsidise key imports with advantageous exchange rates.

DolarToday says it calculates its rate based on trades on Venezuela's border with Colombia.

President Nicolas Maduro has in the past accused the website of being part of an international capitalist conspiracy against his socialist government.

Critics say currency controls and widespread government intervention in Venezuela's economy have caused shortages of goods and shrinking GDP.

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