The administration of the US President Donald Trump banned Americans from buying Venezuelan digital currency Petro on Monday, the 19th of March. In a separate case, the administration also applied sanctions against four current and former high-ranking Venezuelan officials accused of corruption and mismanagement.
Trump issued a decree prohibiting US citizens from participating in transactions involving the use of it. He also authorized the US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin to issue additional rules to enforce this order.
Diosdado Cabello, the influential vice-president of the ruling Socialist Party, accused “Emperor Trump” in an attempt to extend the financial “blockade” of Venezuela.
“It’s not going to be easy to execute” Cabello said in a press conference in Caracas. “But that’s what the imperialists do, they try to instill fear and scare the free people of the world.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro issued a statement saying that unilateral sanctions violate the UN Charter “and the most essential principles of international law.” He said that charges of a “crime against humanity” can be submitted to the World Court.
Maduro created the digital currency Petro in an attempt to save the economy of his country, where this year’s inflation is estimated at 13000%.
Trump’s ban will prevent the plans of the Maduro government to increase foreign exchange reserves by means of a digital token. The offer of Venezuela is designed to receive funds in US dollars and euros, and the ban on the United States will complicate the flow of foreign exchange funds to Venezuela.