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Trump Issues Executive Order Banning Venezuela Petro Transactions

20 March, 2018, 04:43 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Trump bans Venezuelan cryptocurrency in the US

Trump issued an order on Monday prohibiting US citizens from engaging in transactions using the oil-backed currency, called the Petro. The prohibition applies to all people and companies subject to US jurisdiction. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a news conference following the announcement that the order was, as expected, meant to restrict the Venezuelan government's access to capital. On Feb. 20, Maduro said the newly launched oil-backed petro cryptocurrency raised $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale.

Venezuela has been suffering from economic mismanagement and sanctions for some time, resulting in widespread poverty and, in some cases, food riots in the country.

"The Vice President will call on all members to increase pressure on the Maduro regime to restore the country's democracy and address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Venezuela", Pence's spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, said Monday in a statement.

Hardly a surprise - when Venezuela launched their official national cryptocurrency the "petro" last month, they openly admitted their goal was to use it to bypass worldwide sanctions.

"In Venezuela we hold 13 audits before the elections, and that's evidence of the transparency of our Venezuelan electoral system".

President Donald Trump took a step further in cutting off Venezuela's government from American investors.

The U.S. Treasury also unveiled sanctions on four Venezuelan officials accused of corruption, adding to the more than 50 officials from the country that have been blacklisted by Washington in recent years on a host of charges including graft and human-rights violations.

The South American country has been hit hard by hyperinflation and a shortage of cash.

Reports had revealed just a few days ago that the USA government was planning to impose this ban and that it would go into effect as early as Monday.

Even without those sanctions in place, who would lend money to a government that manages an economy in free fall and with no ability or willingness to make the necessary fixes?

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) applauded Monday's action against Venezuela.

Ben Nelson, the U.S Democratic Senator from Florida, spoke up this week saying that Maduro was using a "rouge" digital token to evade US sanctions.

Senators from both political parties in the USA have raised concerns about this.

Venezuela and its citizens within the cryptocurrency space remain strongly divided on the subject.

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