Venezuela has yet to officially respond to news of the latest round of penalties imposed upon it by the United States, believed to be part of a larger set which will once again target Venezuelan officials and other government associates.
According to senior White House officials, the new sanctions are against four Venezuelan government officials involved in corruption and economic mismanagement.
Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito said in a statement that there is "nothing new" about the US issuing sanctions: "While Venezuela's attempt to issue a cryptocurrency is novel, there's nothing new about the USA restricting financial dealings with sanctioned countries".
President Donald Trump banned us purchases of a cryptocurrency the Venezuelan government is rolling out, as part of a campaign to pressure the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro also said last month Venezuela is preparing a new cryptocurrency called "petro gold" that will be backed by precious metals. The Venezuelan government has stated that it guarantees that it will receive the Petro as a form of payment for national taxes, fees, contributions and public services.
"Instead, it appears he is using the freedoms that the United States provided him in order to help advance the Maduro regime's attempts to consolidate power and destroy Venezuela's democratic institutions".
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The sanctions targeting the Petro - the digital currency announced by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in December - have been in the works for weeks. Venezuela's ICO is accepting U.S. dollars and euros, which limits the participation of local residents due to the official limitations on the purchases of foreign currency.
But Jimenez until recently had been agitating for the very same actions to punish Venezuela's leader for jailing his opponents and destroying the oil-rich economy.
The executive order to ban the petro isn't that surprising, considering the US's current sanctions on Venezuela.
The US Treasury has previously warned potential investors that buying the petro could violate sanctions that prohibit the purchase of Venezuelan debt.
"We can't just sit here with our arms crossed, with all that we, our friends and our family are going through", he said.