Local officials said that the currency would make it easier for residents and visitors to trade during the town’s festivities, which start on Monday.

They said rampant hyperinflation and a scarcity of bolivares, the national currency, had affected trade in Elorza.

The new currency can be bought at the mayor’s office via bank transfer.

The paper bills feature the face of independence hero José Andrés Elorza and, like the town, are named after him.

“People don’t have bolivares to spend, that’s why we have created bills of two denominations… and we’ve already sold 2bn bolivares worth,” mayor Solfreddy Solórzano, from the governing PSUV party, said.

Local businessman Canuto García explained that the town came up with the idea after it noticed that at local festivities in nearby cities “money did not flow”

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