Trump bans U.S. purchases of Venezuela's cryptocurrency Petro

22 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • NewsUS to send Colombia $2.5M in aid to deal with Venezuela crisis by Jack Norman

The government in Venezuela, led by President Maduro, has been pitching petro as one of the key instruments to boost the country's crumbling economy, which has found itself at the receiving end of severe hyperinflation and devaluation for years.

Another U.S. official cited United Nations data showing more than 1.5 million Venezuelans have been displaced by the crisis.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday banning all transactions involving the digital currency.

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"Behind the scenes, the petro was in fact a collaboration-a half-hidden joint venture between Venezuelan and Russian officials and businessmen, whose aim was to erode the power of US sanctions". Expectedly, President Maduro's government has reacted strongly to the United States move by calling it a "new imperial aggression".

Now the Petro is propped up by Venezuela's extensive crude oil reserves.

The executive order by President Trump also authorizes Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, to introduce new regulations to ensure its smooth execution.

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The move signals Washington is seeking to boost its involvement in the fallout from Venezuela's crisis following several rounds of financial sanctions that have effectively blocked President Nicolas Maduro's ability to borrow money overseas.

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro tweeted that the government earned $735m on its launch day - a claim that has not been independently verified. The move was "in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent US sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful", the White House said. Venezuela's currency, the bolívar, has suffered from hyperinflation as a result of government mismanagement and U.S. sanctions. These delusional and inhumane policies by the Maduro regime have exacerbated an avoidable humanitarian crisis. In a statement to Time, the Finance Ministry denied involvement of any government officials in the creation of petro.

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