Venezuelan Politician Blasts US Sanctions as Petro ICO Goes Public

A senior politician from Venezuela’s ruling party has denounced the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government against its recently launched national cryptocurrency, the oil-backed petro.

As reported by CoinDesk, U.S. president Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting American citizens and residents from purchasing or transacting in digital currencies issued by Venezuela.

Diosdado Cabello, vice president of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party, decried the move on Twitter, saying:

“Once again, imperialism is wrong in announcing sanctions and blockades against the brave and dignified Venezuelan people, the sell-out lackeys drool when our people suffer. Let’s raise the flags of Bolivar and Chavez, we will win!!”

According to Prensa Latina, the official state news agency of Cuba, Cabello also commented on the sanctions at a press conference in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, today.

He reportedly remarked that President Trump and the U.S. have failed to take a diplomatic path over its political dispute with Venezuela, and instead have opted for a “warlike” approach.

The news comes just before the public ICO of the petro token, which is is expected to kick off today, according to the white paper. That follows the closed pre-sale which ran from Feb. 20 to March 19.

Since the launch of the petro pre-sale, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has claimed the token has raked in up to $5 billion, though no evidence has been presented to back up the claim.

Maduro announced the cryptocurrency in December 2017, and it was quickly condemned by U.S. officials as a means to evade international sanctions. Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress also dismissed the currency as illegal and a “fraud.”

Diosdado Cabello (left), Nicolas Maduro and Cilia Flores image via Cancilleria del Ecuador/Wikimedia Commons

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