Venezuela Slams Trump For Banning Transactions In Its Cryptocurrency

Christos Stylianides NewsEurope drastically increases aid for Colombia by Adriaan Alsema

President Trump on Monday levied new sanctions against the Venezuelan government, banning US citizens from dealing in the South American country's newly introduced cryptocurrency.

Maduro says he, "energetically rejects and condemn the new unilateral sanction of the Donald Trump regime against the Venezuelan people and our financial and economic system".

USA calls the digital currency an attempt by the Venezuelan government to "circumvent United States sanctions". According to an AP report, the Venezuelan President suggested that Trump's actions offended "the most elemental principles of global law" and intimated that charges could be levied at the World Court, alleging a "crime against humanity". According to the report, Putin signed off on a plan in 2017 to help Venezuela develop a cryptocurrency to avoid the punishing economic sanctions placed upon the country by the U.S.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration issued an executive order prohibiting United States citizens from purchasing the petro, which Maduro hopes will raise $6 billion and help shore up the country's failing economy.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will release Dollars 2.5 million to help to finance the humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans in Colombia.

White House chief tells staff their jobs safe_ for now
In private conversations in recent weeks with aides and friends, Trump has reflected on his desire to reshape the administration.

"Today, the emperor Trump has announced measures that will not be easy to execute, but imperialism is seeking to sow fear, to scare the free peoples of the world", he added.

Venezuela's state-backed cryptocurrency petro has been mired in controversy right from the beginning. Its value is tied to the nation's oil reserves and is meant to be used to pay taxes, fees and other public needs.

Citing sources familiar with the creation of petro, Time reports that senior advisers from the Kremlin, with approval from President Vladimir Putin, helped to oversee the development of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin and other digital tokens are already widely used in Venezuela as a hedge against hyperinflation and an easy-to-use mechanism for paying for everything from doctor visits to honeymoons in a country where obtaining hard currency requires transactions in the illegal black market.

"President Maduro decimated the Venezuelan economy and spurred a humanitarian crisis", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

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