This week, the White House issued an executive order that banned any US citizens or entities from participating in the Venezuelan Petro Coin. The creation of the cryptocurrency based off of Venezuelan oil was a response to the economic crises that has been brought upon Venezuela by former President Chavez and current President Maduro. Their economic policies have taken a once thriving country and tossed it into a state of near anarchy.
Around the same time that President Trump was issuing the Executive Order, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin was taking action as well. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned four current or former Venezuelan officials pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, as part of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to highlight the economic mismanagement and endemic corruption of the Maduro regime.
“President Maduro decimated the Venezuelan economy and spurred a humanitarian crisis. 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 U.S. persons to avoid. Today, I participated in an important meeting in Argentina with my counterparts from the region and Europe, where we discussed how to achieve our shared objectives of restoring Venezuelan democracy, combating the kleptocracy of the Maduro regime, and responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by Maduro’s economic policy. We urge Maduro to distribute humanitarian aid and stop blocking much-needed foreign assistance to the suffering people of Venezuela, and we again call upon the Venezuelan military to respect and uphold the Constitution.”
Mnuchin’s aforementioned meeting references the G20 meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week.