US Wants Venezuela's Cryptocurrency Undermined
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Washington unilaterally imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Venezuela illegally.
They aim to make its economy scream, ordinary Venezuelans harmed most, other countries pressured to observe them or face US harshness.
They're part of Washington' diabolical plot to replace Bolivarian social democracy with fascist tyranny - so far unsuccessfully.
In an effort to counter the US scheme and curb high inflation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced creation of a cryptocurrency on December 3 - called the petro.
It'll be backed by Venezuelan crude oil reserves, the world's largest including its heavy oil. In an initial February 15 pre-sale to institutional investors, about 38 million petros are expected to be sold, netting around $1.3 billion, based on today's price of oil.
On December 29, Bloomberg News headlined "Get Set for Petro, Venezuela's Crypto Answer to Bitcoin," saying:
It differs "from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because it will be backed by hard assets." According to Venezuela's Oil Ministry, five billion barrels of the nation's oil will provide financial backing worth $267 billion.
Maduro hopes the petro will let Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty" - initiating "new forms of international financing."
He hopes it can help "defeat the financial blockade and move toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of the country."
The new digital currency will be accepted to pay taxes and fees, along with use in international transactions.
It's unclear if the idea can help alleviate dire economic conditions. It has the US Treasury concerned, a spokesman saying:
"Available information indicates that, once issued, the petro digital currency would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government" - claiming it'll violate US sanctions, exposing investors and other users outside the country "to legal risk."
US sanctions are illegal, not the petro. US pressure, bullying and other hardline tactics are unrelenting, forcing nations to observe its illegal actions or face its wrath.
Given its economic and political war on Venezuela, it's unclear if the petro can improve its hard times.
According to US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, the Trump administration intends new (illegal) sanctions on Venezuela.
Its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded sharply, saying Shannon's remarks "are revealing, (traveling to Europe) to give direct orders to the European Union to continue attacking Venezuela," adding:
"It would be sad if the EU continues to submit to Donald Trump's interventionist, racist and warmongering opinions."
"Mr. Shannon is wasting his time. In response to more efforts made by the US government to torpedo the dialogue and generate conditions of violence, the Venezuelan people will defend their independence and peace that we have consolidated thanks to our constituent democracy."
Washington wants all sovereign independent governments replaced by US vassal ones - especially powerful nations like Russia and China, along with oil-rich states like Venezuela and Iran.
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