Russian Federation reportedly helped Venezuela launch its petro cryptocurrency to skirt United States sanctions

Posted March 22, 2018

U.S. president Donald Trump has issued an executive order banning United States citizens from buying, trading or dealing in cryptocurrencies (the Petro) related to the Venezuelan government.

Ros-Lehtinen said the Trump administration should sanction Jimenez and his company if he violated new rules banning Americans from dealing in the petro.

The ban, however, is hardly surprising considering that President Trump and his government has been calling the token an institutionalized effort to circumvent USA sanctions.

The vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela slammed on Monday U.S. President Donald Trump for signing a decree prohibiting Americans from using Venezuela's newly introduced cryptocurrency, the Petro. Furthermore, according to TIME, their sources revealed that Russian Federation had helped the Latin American country with the petro initial coin offering, as part of a multi-pronged strategy to circumvent USA sanctions.

Venezuela responded with "profound indignation", slamming the US President.

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"It's not going to be easy to execute", Cabello said in a press conference in Caracas.

In February, cash-strapped Venezuela became the first country to launch its own version of bitcoin, the petro, in a move that Maduro celebrated as putting his country on the world's technological forefront. Because it is illegal for Venezuelan citizens to purchase foreign currencies, petro is inaccessible to the vast majority of the country's population.

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. Venezuela's currency, the bolívar, has suffered from hyperinflation as a result of government mismanagement and U.S. sanctions.

In an official statement, Maduro condemned the sanctions by Trump and stated that they were in violation of the United Nation Charter and worldwide law.

The USAID announcement follows a visit by the former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to Colombia, where he met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss Plan Colombia and the crisis in Venezuelan.

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