The United States on Friday said it supported the creation of an independent commission to investigate explosions in Caracas during a speech by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this month, criticizing his government's response as arbitrary.
"There will be a lot of confusion in the next few days, for consumers and the private sector", said the director of the Ecoanalitica consultancy, Asdrubal Oliveros.
In one of the biggest economic overhauls of Mr Maduro's five-year government, the former bus driver and union leader also said he would hike the minimum wage by over 30 times, boost the corporate tax rate, and increase highly subsidised gas prices in coming weeks.
In turn, the minimum wage will be fixed at half a petro (1,800 sovereign bolivars), starting Monday.
Tying the new currency to the Petro value effectively amounts to a 95 per cent devaluation on the past week's central bank foreign exchange auction results, according to Bloomberg.
In setting a rate for the petro, Maduro was implicitly taking the country's exchange rate to 6 million bolivars per USA dollar, on par with widely used black market exchange rates compared with the current official DICOM rate of 248,832 bolivars per dollar.
Mr Maduro's historic devaluation comes as Venezuela sinks into a severe economic depression and wrestles with hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund estimates will reach 1 million per cent by the end of this year. All the more so in a context where the elimination of excessive money printing is not credible.
Electronic transactions are set to be suspended from Sunday to facilitate the introduction of the new notes.
Venezuela launched the petro in a bid for liquidity to try to circumvent USA sanctions that have all but stamped out worldwide financing.
But there's a good reason the redenomination hasn't generated renewed hope or investor confidence: Venezuela has done this before.
Maduro's predecessor and revolutionary hero Hugo Chavez stripped three zeroes off the bolivar in 2008, but that failed to prevent hyperinflation.
But he said that will not work because of the government's lack of fiscal discipline and financing.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks in front of a computer used to mine crypto currency Ethereum at the International Science and Technology Fair (FITEC) in Caracas on December 3, 2017.
Cryptocurrency rating site ICOindex.com has branded the petro a "scam", while the U.S. has banned its nationals from trading in it.
Right from the outset, it has not been clear how the petro would operate, nor what being backed by oil means.
But it is one of a raft of seemingly desperate economic measures announced by Maduro's government to try to fix the country's economic meltdown.
Subsidies would only be available to citizens registering their vehicles for a "fatherland card" - which the opposition has decried as a mechanism to exert social control over opponents.
Fuel subsidies have cost Venezuela $10 billion since 2012, according to oil analyst Luis Oliveros, but without them, most people would not be able to buy fuel.