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Maduro's cryptocurrency 'genius' once pushed United States sanctions

24 March, 2018, 00:20 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Jorge Rodriguez

The Petro, which was made available for presale on February 20, is being used specifically to counter USA -imposed sanctions and the economic war waged by Washington.

Venezuela's state-backed cryptocurrency petro has been mired in controversy right from the beginning.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order on Monday, banning American purchases and use of Venezuela's petro cryptocurrency. At this time, the Venezuelan economy faces hyperinflation, along with the potential collapse of its currency. "Instead of correcting course to avoid further catastrophe, the Maduro regime is attempting to circumvent sanctions through the petro digital currency - a ploy that Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly has denounced and Treasury has cautioned USA persons to avoid". Not least in the front row of Nicolas Maduro's speech heralding the initial sale of the cryptocurrency, where Time says you would have found Russian advisers, Denis Druzhkov and Fyodor Bogorodsky - both of whom "have ties to major Russian banks and billionaires close to the Kremlin".

Trump and other critics have claimed the Petro, backed by Venezuela's oil reserves - the largest in the world - is unreliable. The US has also frozen assets of four current and former officials of the Venezuelan government. The advisory stated the digital coin was yet another effort to "prop up Maduro's regime" at a time when the common masses were suffering due to corrupt and faulty economic policies. Expectedly, President Maduro's government has reacted strongly to the U.S. move by calling it a "new imperial aggression".

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

According to the new regulation, United States citizens are prohibited from buying the Petro coin from not only Venezuela's government but any agency, investors, or cryptocurrency exchange offering the Petro coin on the cryptocurrency market.

Earlier today Trump issues and executive order that immediately "prohibits ... all related transactions, the provision of financing and other transactions by a person from the United States or within the United States, with any digital currency that has been issued by, for or on behalf of the government of Venezuela as of January 9, 2018", reads the order, announced by the White House.

"Beyond sanctions evasion, the Petro was hand-tailored to perpetuate the money laundering and plundering of public resources that has tragically led Venezuela to economic ruin".



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