President Trump bans USA use of Venezuelan cryptocurrency

An exiled Venezuelan opposition leader is drawing strength from his Jewish roots

In an executive order that took effect immediately upon its issuance, President Donald Trump declared illegal all us transactions related to Venezuelan digital currencies, coins or tokens.

Last August, the Trump administration barred the trading of new debt issued by Venezuela's government and its state-owned oil company in US markets amid deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the nation.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration on Monday banned all use by Americans of Venezuelan cryptocurrency, saying that its introduction is meant to skirt US sanctions.

The US Treasury has previously warned potential investors that buying the petro could violate sanctions that prohibit the purchase of Venezuelan debt. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

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Maduro drummed up the petro as a way for his administration to tap foreign investment amid the initial wave of United States financial sanctions. The move follows the introduction this month of a Venezuelan cryptocurrency known as the "petro, " for which the government says it has received investment commitments of $5 billion.

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 ban comes as US Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin is meeting G-20 finance ministers in Buenos Aires.

It was hoped that in skirting sanctions, Petro would help revive the South American country's weakening economy and avert a humanitarian crisis.

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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.

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. The ban on the Petro in the United States makes it more hard for Maduro to raise funds, and the USA has been considering issuing sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector, the last industry propping up the economy.

The new sanctions come as the regime of President Nicolas Madura continues a crackdown against civilians in the country.

Mr. Maduro plans to hold a May 20 presidential election that the US and other countries have said would be fraudulent.

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"To what extent is the Department monitoring possible nefarious uses of other cryptocurrencies by Venezuela, Russia, and North Korea?" they wrote in a letter. "When you take the US out of that equation, you reduce the interest and potential for that speculation".

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