UPDATE 1-Venezuela to relaunch new DICOM exchange rate on Thursday

(Adds details of Venezuela's crisis and currency)

CARACAS, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Venezuela will relaunch the weaker of its two official currency exchange rates on Thursday, Vice President Tareck El Aissami said, as the South American nation battles a deep economic crisis marked by quadruple-digit inflation and food shortages.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, El Aissami did not specify what the rate would be for the so-called DICOM exchange mechanism, though a devaluation from the current rate of 3,345 bolivars per U.S. dollar is expected.

The stronger DIPRO exchange rate is at 10 bolivars per dollar, a far cry from the black market rate of 260,000 bolivars per dollar.

Critics of Venezuela's socialist government blame strict currency controls introduced a decade and a half ago for the country's economic crisis.

The bolivar has weakened nearly 60 percent in the last month against the dollar. (Reporting by Girish Gupta and Andreina Aponte; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer and Paul Simao)