The U.S. could respond with sanctions against Venezuela as soon as Monday due to the country’s launch of the Petro.
President Nicolás Maduro may have thought launching the Venezuelan Petro was a good idea, but President Donald Trump thinks absolutely not.
As a result, the Trump administration is expected to slap Venezuela with sanctions as early as Monday, according to reports. These sanctions would be in addition to a host of them that the U.S. has already levied against the country that is now considered a dictatorship.
Day of more reckoning
According to the news outlet McClatchy, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order as early as Monday that calls for the new sanctions. The media outlet notes that these would be part of a larger package of measures that also include several individual sanctions against Venezuelan officials and/or associates.
These will likely be financial sanctions like those already in place. For example, Americans are prohibited from buying Venezuelan debt.
We told you in February that these sanctions could be coming. When the U.S. Treasury department saw that Maduro was hell bent on issuing the crypto, it sent a strong warning to U.S. investors to steer clear of it.
The sanctions it has in place for Venezuela prohibit the purchase of newly-issued Venezuelan debt. The Treasury sees the Petro as an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government. Because of that, it could expose U.S. citizens to legal risks.
The Petro born
In February, Venezuela held its presale of its Petro cryptocurrency, reportedly raising $735 million. It’s backed by the country’s oil, gold, and diamonds.
Maduro has continuously said that the crypto can save his country from further economic ruin. As recently as last week, Maduro said that the Petro had raised $5 billion from its ICO, we reported to you. If true, the amount makes this the most successful ICO in history, according to TelSur.
Thumbing nose at the U.S.
Maduro has continuously ignored warnings about the feasibility of the country having its own cryptocurrency.
He’s authorized payments in cryptocurrency for Venezuela’s consulate services and fuel on the border, reportedly saying, it is just the “kryptonite” Venezuela needs to take on Superman, which observers say is code for taking on the U.S.
“Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman.”
From wealthy to near-ruin
Once considered a democracy, wealthy from having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela is now burdened with a failing economy. The bolivar is the country’s national currency, and its value has been plummeting for years.
Observers point out that the prices for everything from food to medicine have skyrocketed. In many cases, supplies are scarce to none.
Then there is the matter of the country’s limited amount of cash. Reportedly, Black-market money changers charge commissions of up to 20% to score paper money for small business people who pay their workers in cash. Even banks are barely functioning, with them reportedly running out of bank notes.
Maduro has partly blamed the country’s cash supply on smugglers who he says are taking off with bolivar notes and taking them to Colombia.
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