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The U.S. ban on trading with the Petro

Since the announcement of its creation in December 2017, the Petro -the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, has generated opinions and actions by individuals and some governments.

Three months after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reported the appearance of the digital currency, the first president of the United States, Donald Trump, issued an executive order to take additional measures regarding the situation in Venezuela.

What does the U.S. ban say about the Petro?

Published on the White House web portal on March 19, 2018, has as its antecedent the executive order number 13,808 of last August 24, 2017 and is based on what this government considers an attempt by the Venezuelan authorities to circumvent the sanctions issued by the North American country, by creating a digital currency in a process declared illegal by the Venezuelan National Assembly.

The document clearly establishes the prohibition of any transaction by a person in the United States or within the United States with any digital currency issued by, for or on behalf of the Venezuelan government, as of the time the aforementioned order becomes effective.

The term "person" refers to any individual or entity. The entity is described as a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, group or corporation. When the order refers to the government of Venezuela it also implies any political subdivision, state agency such as the Central Bank of Venezuela and even the company Petróleos de Venezuela, and any person acting on behalf of the government.

What point 6 of the executive order says

Likewise, the illegality of any transaction that evades, avoids or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, violating or attempting to violate any of the established prohibitions is made explicit.
Point six of the order clarifies that the order "is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies or entities, officers, employees, agents or any other person."

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is authorized by the Executive to implement the corresponding measures. It also establishes that all agencies and dependencies of the U.S. government will take all necessary actions within their field to execute the provisions.

The document is supported by the authority vested in Donald Trump. as president-elect and rests under the Emergency International Economic Powers Act, the National Emergency Act and the U.S. Code.

Before the order was issued, two U.S. senators had sent a letter to warn President Trump about the issuance of the Petro cryptocurrency. In this letter, it was argued that the creation of the digital currency responded to the Venezuelan government's interest in evading the imposed sanctions.

For its part, the Venezuelan government responded with a communiqué the order issued by the United States. The official document states that the U.S. measure is "in violation of the United Nations Charter and the most elementary principles of international law governing civilized relations between sovereign States".

Sources consulted