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The Suspension of SWIFT by Russian Banks Could Affect Venezuela

The recent revelation of the expulsion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT payments system has sparked anxiety about the consequences for nations such as Venezuela, which is heavily reliant on Russian banking. On social media, Jose Guerra, a Venezuelan economist, was one of the first to speculate about this potential danger.

Guerra went on to say that if Venezuelan cash are in Russian banks, organizations like PDVSA, the country’s state-owned oil company, will be unable to pay for goods and services using those accounts.

“If PDVSA has a bank account in a Russian bank that is not a member of SWIFT and wants to pay a supplier, it will not be able to do so that way,” he explained.

While there is no firsthand knowledge of the finances managed by Russian institutions by Venezuela, reports claim that the sanctions imposed on the South American country have increased reliance on these services.

Apart from the aforementioned connectivity difficulty, Venezuelan funds in Russia may encounter another obstacle. The ruble has lost more than 30% of its value since the news of some Russian banks’ SWIFT disconnection was published, hurting institutions and countries that had their savings in the Russian fiat currency.

If Venezuelan cash are held in Russian banks, the problem will be exacerbated if the crisis in Ukraine escalates or expands. These penalties, according to Juan Gonzalez, director of the Western Hemisphere’s National Security Council, will have an impact on other countries in the continent.

Venezuela has previously been accused of utilizing bitcoin to circumvent economic sanctions, but the country’s capabilities and cryptocurrency holdings are currently unknown.
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