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U.S. To Impose Fresh sanctions Against Venezuela Over 'Petro'

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The United States is set to announce fresh sanctions against Venezuela's fledgling cryptocurrency 'Petro,' a report said.

The Trump administration's move comes in response to the Latin American regime's attempt to bypass U.S. economic sanctions by launching a national cryptocurrency.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Monday, which restricts the use of Petros in U.S. financial transactions, McClatchy reported quoting U.S. sources familiar with administration plans.

The latest round of US sanctions target several Venezuelan officials and other government associates, it added.

The Treasury department had strongly warned U.S. investors not to buy Petro, considering it as an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government, which could expose U.S. citizens to legal risks.

The U.S. senators had asked the Treasury Department to crack down on Venezuela's attempt to evade the U.S. economic sanctions by dealing in Petro.

The Maduro administration had launched the pre-sale of Petro on February 20 to ease the country's economic crisis, and circumvent U.S.-led sanctions.

Inflation in the socialist nation has spiraled, creating food shortages. The national currency bolivar has lost its value.

The Government claimed its oil-backed cryptocurrency raised $5 billion, but the Opposition-controlled National Assembly declared the Petro as illegitimate.

In a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week, Florida senator Bill Nelson asked what the Treasury Department is doing to prevent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from raising funds through Petro.

He called on the head of the national exchequer not to allow Maduro to circumvent the existing sanctions, which Washington imposed on his regime for violation of human rights, political repression and widespread economic deprivation.

by Joji XavierRTTNews Staff Writer

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