Venezuela tightens control of foreign exchange system to go after currency speculators

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is tightening control of the foreign exchange system to fight what he calls an "economic war" being waged against his government.

Maduro is creating a centralized agency to administer the nation's dollars to ensure the supply of needed imports and prevent speculation by those he refers to as the "parasitic bourgeoisie."

He is also creating a joint civilian-military task force of inspectors that will be given the job of stamping out what the government alleges is price gouging and the hoarding by businesses of scarce goods like toilet paper and milk.

Since Maduro took over from the late Hugo Chavez in April, inflation in Venezuela has soared to 49 percent while the bolivar has plunged on the black market to a sixth of its official value.