Ahead Of The Summit Of The America's Gathering, A Reminder Of How President Trump Has Been Tough On Socialist Venezuela, While Liberals Have Praised The Failing Nation
- Since taking office, President Nicolás Maduro has engaged in a rampant pattern of human rights abuses.
- It has been estimated that since Maduro has taken office, he has arrested almost 7,000 civilians for "political reasons."
- His failure to lead the economy out of its current crisis has led 75% of his citizens to starve, with the average person losing 19 pounds as a result of hunger.
- In August 2017 and March 2018, the Trump Administration placed financial sanctions on Venezuela in response to President Maduro's continued brutality and human rights violations against his fellow countrymen.
- On August 24, 2017, President Trump imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela which prohibited U.S. citizens and entities from pursuing financial deals with the government of Venezuela or the country's oil company PDVSA.
- On March 19, 2018, President Trump imposed further financial sanctions on Venezuela which prohibited U.S. citizens and entities from making digital transactions with Venezuela.
- But despite the brutal treatment Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez have forced the Venezuelan people to endure, Democrats such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have praised these regimes and their policies.
- However, these liberals have remained silent since the country fell into crisis.
VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLÁS MADURO AUTHORITARIAN GRIP ON THE COUNTRY WHICH IS SUFFOCATING HIS PEOPLE
President Maduro Has Used "Excessive Force" Against Government Protesters, With Some Protesters Even Being Pushed To The Brink Of Death
On April 14, 2013, Nicolas Maduro Was Elected President Of Venezuela. "In an unexpectedly close race, Venezuelans narrowly voted to continue Hugo Chávez's revolution, electing his handpicked political heir, Nicolás Maduro, to serve the remainder of his six-year term as president, officials said late Sunday." (William Neuman, "Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory," The New York Times , 4/14/13)
Since Maduro Has Taken Office, At Least 6,893 People Have Been Arrested And 433 Have Been Jailed For "Political Reasons." "At least 114 political prisoners are behind bars in Venezuela, according to Penal Forum, a human rights organization that tracks political arrests in the country, a number that rose from 89 a year ago. The group says that since Mr. Maduro took power in 2013, the government has arrested 6,893 people and jailed 433 for political reasons." ("Nicholas Casey and Ana Vanessa Herrero, "Ranks Of Political Prisoners Grow As Democracy Ebbs In Venezuela," The New York Times , 3/31/17)
In August 2017, The United Nations Condemned Venezuela For Its "Clear Pattern Of Excessive Force Used Against Protesters" Which Included Arbitrary Detainments And Torture. " 'Since the wave of demonstrations began in April, there has been a clear pattern of excessive force used against protesters. Several thousand people have been arbitrarily detained, many reportedly subjected to ill-treatment and even torture, while several hundred have been brought before military rather than civilian courts,' said Zeid. 'And these patterns show no signs of abating.'" (Press Release, "UN Human Rights Team's Findings Indicate Patterns Of Rights Violations Amid Mass Protests In Venezuela," United Nations , 8/8/17)
The United Nations Claimed That The Violations Occurred "Amid The Breakdown Of The Rule Of Law In Venezuela" And That The Human Right Violations Have Occurred "At The Highest Levels Of Government." "'These violations have occurred amid the breakdown of the rule of law in Venezuela, with constant attacks by the Government against the National Assembly and the Attorney-General's Office,' Zeid added. 'The responsibility for the human rights violations we are recording lies at the highest levels of Government.'" (Press Release, "UN Human Rights Team's Findings Indicate Patterns Of Rights Violations Amid Mass Protests In Venezuela," United Nations , 8/8/17)
According To The 2016 Human Rights Report On Venezuela, The NGO Committee For The Families Of Victims (COFAVIC) Claimed That In 2015 Was A 37 Percent Increase In Alleged Extrajudicial Killings Committed By Members Of Security Forces. "The NGO Committee for the Families of Victims of February-March 1989 (COFAVIC) continued to report there was no publicly accessible national registry of reported cases of extrajudicial killings. COFAVIC reported that in 2015 there were 1,396 alleged extrajudicial killings committed by members of security forces, a 37-percent increase over 2014." ("Venezuela 2016 Human Rights Reports," U.S. Department Of State , Accessed 4/11/18, p. 2)
According To The 2016 Human Rights Report On Venezuela, Several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Reported Several Cases Of "Cruel, Inhumane, And Degrading Treatment." "Several NGOs detailed cases of widespread torture and 'cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.'" ("Venezuela 2016 Human Rights Reports," U.S. Department Of State , Accessed 4/11/18, p. 4)
- The Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal Documented More Than 138 Cases Of Torture In The Country Between February 2014 And May 2015. "The Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal documented more than 138 cases of torture in the country between February 2014 and May 2015." ("Venezuela 2016 Human Rights Reports," U.S. Department Of State , Accessed 4/11/18, p. 4)
The White House Has Called Maduro's Rule A "Dictatorship" For Its Abuses Against The People Of Venezuela Including The Imprisonment Of Opposition Politicians, And The Suppression Of Freedom Of Speech. "The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech. The regime's decision to create an illegitimate Constituent Assembly-and most recently to have that body usurp the powers of the democratically-elected National Assembly-represents a fundamental break in Venezuela's legitimate constitutional order." (Press Release, "Statement By The Press Secretary On New Financial Sanctions On Venezuela," The White House , 8/25/17)
President Maduro Has Been Criticized For The Country's Soaring Deficits, Which Have Made Common Household Necessities Like Food Unaffordable
Since Taking Office, President Maduro, A Socialist And The "Hand-Picked" Successor Of Hugo Chavez, Has Brought Venezuela From "Democracy To Authoritarian Rule" And Has "Presided Over An Economy Sliding Into The Worst Depression Venezuela Has Ever Known." "Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the target of constant anti-government protests and condemnations from the United States and world community for pushing his country from democracy to authoritarian rule. The hand-picked successor of the iconic Hugo Chávez lacks the late president's charisma and popularity, mainly because he and his Socialist Party have presided over an economy sliding into the worst depression Venezuela has ever known." (Amanda Trejos, "Why Is Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro So Controversial?" USA Today , 8/23/17)
In 2015, The Rapid Inflation Rate Made It Nearly Impossible For Citizens To Afford Household Items Such As Fruit And Vegetables, Which Cost 15,000 Bolivars And Toilet Paper, Which Cost 9,000 Bolivars. "Bacalhau, 40, describes himself as one of the lucky ones. The father of two is paid in dollars which can be exchanged on the black market for thousands of bolivars, protecting his family from rapid price rises. 'I still go to the open market to buy fruit but even there it is ridiculous. In April 2015 I bought some fruit and vegetables for 430 bolivars. Last Saturday the same items cost me 14,000 bolivars. Isn't that crazy?' While the government regulates factory gate, wholesale and consumer prices, nobody pays attention. 'You know how much this cost me?' asks Bacalhau, waving a plastic bag stuffed with toilet rolls. '9,000 bolivars.'" (Szu Ping Chan, "Venezuela: How The Socialist Paradise Turned Into Debt And Hyperinflation Hell," The Telegraph , 5/21/16)
- The Average Monthly Salary In Venezuela Is 15,000 Bolivars. "The average monthly salary in Venezuela is 15,000 bolivars." (Szu Ping Chan, "Venezuela: How The Socialist Paradise Turned Into Debt And Hyperinflation Hell," The Telegraph , 5/21/16)
Due To The Country's Food Shortages, 75% Of All Venezuelans Lost An Average Of 19 Pounds Between 2015 And 2016. "Seventy-five percent of the country's population has lost an average of 19 pounds of bodyweight between 2015 and 2016 due to food shortages throughout the country." (Zeeshan Aleem, "How Venezuela Went From A Rich Democracy To A Dictatorship On The Brink Of Collapse," Vox , 9/19/17)
Venezuela Is Suffering From A Deep Recession And Hyperinflation, Which Has Led The Government To Print Money To Make Up The Difference Between Revenue And Spending Which Was Expected To Hit 25% Of GDP In 2017. "Venezuela is now suffering from the effects of a deep recession and hyperinflation as the government prints money to try to plug a gap between revenues and spending that is on course to hit 25pc of gross domestic product (GDP) next year. The International Monetary Fund has been banned from conducting its annual economic healthcheck of the country since 2004, but believes growth won't get back to positive territory until the next decade, while inflation is on course to hit 4,505pc in 2021." (Szu Ping Chan, "Venezuela: How The Socialist Paradise Turned Into Debt And Hyperinflation Hell," The Telegraph , 5/21/16)
President Maduro Has Presided Over The Destruction Of Private Enterprise In Venezuela
In 2012, A Venezuelan Labor Law Virtually Banned The Dismissal Of Employees And Shortened The Work Week. "A plethora of ostensibly pro-worker decrees have been passed in recent years, culminating in a 2012 labour law known as the LOTTT. The law includes a virtual ban on dismissals, a shorter working week and improved holiday and maternity benefits." ("Labour's Love Lost," The Economist , 1/25/14)
In December 2014, Maduro Renewed The Decree Which Made It "Almost Impossible" For Private Businesses To Fire Employees. "In December Mr. Maduro renewed a decree, in force for the past decade, which makes it almost impossible for private firms to fire workers. Under the LOTTT, job security is virtually guaranteed after the first month." ("Labour's Love Lost," The Economist , 1/25/14)
- As A Result, The Absentee Rates Of The Venezuelan Workforce Ranged From 15 Percent To 40 Percent Due To The Fact That Businesses Were "Reluctant" To Hire Employees. "In December Mr. Maduro renewed a decree, in force for the past decade, which makes it almost impossible for private firms to fire workers. Under the LOTTT, job security is virtually guaranteed after the first month. The result, employers say, has been absenteeism rates ranging from 15% to 40% of the workforce, depending on the industry and the time of year. Under these circumstances most firms are unsurprisingly reluctant to recruit." ("Labour's Love Lost," The Economist , 1/25/14)
The Implications Of This Law Have Caused Businesses To Go Bankrupt At The Hands Of Unproductive Workers, With Some Businesses Even Bribing Workers To Leave As A Last Resort. "Luis Alfredo Araque, who chairs the labour commission of the main employers' federation, Fedecámaras, says businesses are being bankrupted by unproductive workers: 'I know one American company here, which is paying 250 workers to stay at home rather than come to work and cause trouble.' Labour-ministry inspectors refuse to approve dismissals, whatever the grounds, leaving many employers with no choice but to bribe workers to leave." ("Labour's Love Lost," The Economist , 1/25/14)
Under President Maduro's Watch, Venezuela's Socialist Healthcare Has Collapsed As Care Has Become Unaffordable And Inaccessible
In 1999, President Hugo Chavez Revised The Constitution Of Venezuela To Include "Free Healthcare For All." "When Hugo Chavez became Venezuela's new president in 1998, he promised to provide free health care to all and enshrined this right within Venezuela's new constitution, rewritten in 1999." ("The Collapse Of The Venezuelan Health System," The Lancet , Vol. 391, No. 10128, p. 1331, 4/7/18)
By 2016, The Healthcare System In Venezuela Had Deteriorated Rapidly With A 65 Percent Increase In Maternal Mortality, A 30 Percent Increase In Infant Mortality, And Several Outbreaks Of Malaria And Diphtheria. "Official government data are hard to come by. The last official report from the Venezuelan Ministry of Health was published in 2016 (Boletin Epidemiologico) and the then Health Minister, Antonieta Corporale, was rewarded by being sacked immediately thereafter by Nicolas Maduro, who has been leading the country since 2013 (Venezuela has had 17 different ministers of health in the past 20 years). The results of this report were highlighted in a Lancet World Report in August, 2017, which noted the untenable situation in Venezuela. This government report revealed a 65% increase in maternal mortality and a 30% increase in infant mortality, with 11 466 infants dying during 2016. It also revealed that while Venezuela had been the first country in the world to eliminate malaria in populated areas, this and other diseases such as diphtheria, which had previously been controlled, had returned in several outbreaks." ("The Collapse Of The Venezuelan Health System," The Lancet , Vol. 391, No. 10128, p. 1331, 4/7/18)
Due To The Widespread Unavailability Of Medical Supplies And Medications, Patients Bring Their Own "Surgical Instruments, Drugs, And Food To Hospital" And Private Physicians Charge U.S. Dollars For Their Services Making It Unaffordable To Most Of The Population. "Medical supplies have been reported as going missing or getting embargoed and sitting in ports, with some media alleging corruption hindering distribution. Some of these are for treating heart disease and diabetes-the leading causes of death in Venezuela, according to WHO. As a result, patients have resorted to bringing their own surgical instruments, drugs, and food to hospital. In private practice, medical professionals charge in US dollars, which makes health care unaffordable to most of the population." ("The Collapse Of The Venezuelan Health System," The Lancet , Vol. 391, No. 10128, p. 1331, 4/7/18)
According To A March 2018 Analysis, 14 Percent Of Intensive Care Units In 137 Total Public And Private Hospitals Have Been Shut Down, With 79 Percent Of Hospitals Reporting That They Had No Water. "A recent national survey-Encuesta Nacional de Hospitales 2018 from the political opposition, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan non-govermental organisation Médicos por la Salud-revealed that Venezuela's health crisis is worse than anticipated. The survey, conducted between March 1-10, 2018, assessed the performance of 104 public and 33 private hospitals in Venezuela. According to the figures, most laboratory services and hospital nutrition services are only available intermittently or are completely inoperative. Shortages of items such as basic medicines, catheters, surgical supplies, and infant formula are highlighted in the survey; 14% of intensive care units have been shut down because they are unable to operate and 79% of the facilities analysed have no water at all." ("The Collapse Of The Venezuelan Health System," The Lancet , Vol. 391, No. 10128, p. 1331, 4/7/18)
DEMOCRATS HAVE PRAISED THE SOCIALIST STATE OF VENEZUELA
In The Past, Democrats Have Praised The Previous Socialist Leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro's Predecessor And Mentor, Known For His "Serious Authoritarian" Tendencies
From 1999 To 2013, Hugo Chavez Served As Venezuela's President During Which He Instituted Socialist Ideas And Programs In The Country. "Understanding Maduro requires understanding his predecessor Hugo Chávez, the populist firebrand who served as president of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013 and spearheaded the country's experiment with socialism." (Zeeshan Aleem, "How Venezuela Went From A Rich Democracy To A Dictatorship On The Brink Of Collapse," Vox , 9/19/17)
- President Chavez Had "Serious Authoritarian Tendencies," And Put Political Allies In Control Of The Courts, Restricted The Press's Ability To Criticize The Government, And Looked For Ways To Circumvent Checks On His Power. "Chávez had exceptional circumstances and abilities, but that didn't mean he was above taking anti-democratic steps to tilt fortune even further in his favor. He had serious authoritarian tendencies: He stacked the country's courts with political allies, passed laws restricting the ability of journalists to criticize the government, and consistently sought ways to do away with checks on his power. But there were limits to his authoritarianism, and he thought of the electoral system as a key way to make himself more effective as a leader." (Zeeshan Aleem, "How Venezuela Went From A Rich Democracy To A Dictatorship On The Brink Of Collapse," Vox , 9/19/17)
In 2005, Civil Rights Activist Jesse Jackson Praised Chavez For Feeding The Hungry, Lifting The Poor, And Taking On Debt Relief In Venezuela. "Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson visited Caracas in 2005 to apologize for remarks by TV evangelist Pat Robertson in which he called for Chávez's assassination. Addressing the Venezuelan parliament, Jackson said there was no evidence that Venezuela posed a threat to the United States, while praising Chávez for his 'focus on foreign debt, debt relief, and free and fair trade to overcome years of structural disorder, unnecessary military spending, [and] land reform.' 'Hugo fed the hungry. He lifted the poor. He raised their hopes. He helped them realize their dreams. And, so, today we do mourn, because we've lost a lot. But we have a lot left - a stable government, an orderly transition,' he said." (Ben Kew, "10 Famous People Who Praised Venezuela's Descent Into Socialist Hell," Breitbart , 5/4/17)
In August 2011, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Claimed "The American Dream Is More Apt To Be Realized In South America" And Referenced Venezuela As One Of Those Countries. "These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who's the banana republic now?" (Press Release, "Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America," Senator Bernie Sanders , 8/5/11)
In March 2013, Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) Called President Chavez "A Leader That Understood The Needs Of The Poor" And Claimed He Was "Committed To Empowering The Powerless." (Rep. Jose Serrano, Twitter Feed , 3/5/13)
In March 2013, Democratic President Jimmy Carter Called Chavez's Legacy "Positive" For The "Poor And Vulnerable." "We hope that as Venezuelans mourn the passing of President Chávez and recall his positive legacies - especially the gains made for the poor and vulnerable - the political leaders will move the country forward by building a new consensus that ensures equal opportunities for all Venezuelans to participate in every aspect of national life." (Press Release, "Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter On The Death Of Hugo Chavez," President Jimmy Carter , 3/4/13)
In March 2013, Filmmaker Michael Moore Said Chavez Used Profits From The Oil Industry To "Eliminate 75% Of Extreme Poverty, Provide Free Health & Education 4 All." (Michael Moore, Twitter Feed , 3/5/13)
In 2013, Actor Sean Penn Met With Chavez Multiple Times During His Life And Called Him A "Fantastic Guy" Who Did "Incredible Things" For The Poor. "Actor Sean Penn met with Hugo Chavez on numerous occasions, describing him as a 'fascinating guy' who did 'incredible things for the 80% of the people that are very poor there.' After Chávez's death in 2013, Penn said that the 'United States lost a friend it never knew it had' while 'poor people around the world lost a champion.'" (Ben Kew, "10 Famous People Who Praised Venezuela's Descent Into Socialist Hell," Breitbart , 5/4/17)
Democrats Have Profited From The Chavez Regime By Tapping Into The Natural Resources Of The Socialist Nation
Former Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (D-MA) Had A Financial Relationship With Chavez And Used Venezuelan Heating Oil At His Non-Profit Citizens Energy Corporation In Massachusetts. "Even though he enjoyed high-profile friendships with many of Hollywood's elite, Chavez sought to gain ever more legitimacy by befriending members of Congress and American royalty: the Kennedys. Chavez began a financial relationship with former Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (D-MA) by giving Venezuelan heating oil to Kennedy's non-profit Citizens Energy Corporation in Massachusetts. Kennedy served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1999." (JP Carroll, "Meet Hugo Chavez's Pals In Congress And Hollywood," The Daily Caller , 6/26/16)
- Kennedy Purchased The Venezuelan Oil At A Special Rate Then Sold It At A Market Rate And Used The Proceeds To Hear Homes In Massachusetts. "Kennedy, 60, founded Citizens Energy Corp. in 1979 to provide low-cost home heating oil. In the early years, the nonprofit bought crude oil from Venezuela at a special price and sold it off at market rate, using the proceeds to bring heating oil to Massachusetts. Running the charity gave Kennedy his activist credentials. He ran for Congress in 1988 and served in the House until 1999." (Isabel Vincent, "RFK Son Is Oil Broken Up Over Chavez Death," The New York Post , 3/10/13)
- Kennedy Profited From This Oil Relationship With Chavez. "After Joe Kennedy left Congress, he returned to run Citizens Energy. That job paid him $86,311 in 2010. But the bulk of his income comes from his for-profit companies - Citizens Enterprises Corp. and Citizens Investments Ltd. - which together paid him $807,390 in salary and benefits. Kennedy's wife, Elizabeth, raked in $346,764 from the nonprofit, where she is marketing director, and from the for-profit companies." (Isabel Vincent, "RFK Son Is Oil Broken Up Over Chavez Death," The New York Post , 3/10/13)
In March 2013, Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) Took Credit For Kennedy's And Chavez's Oil Relationship. "Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks - a Democrat dogged by corruption allegations who attended Chavez's funeral Friday - also claims credit. During a trip to Caracas, he and Delahunt introduced Kennedy to the dictator, according to a published report." (Isabel Vincent, "RFK Son Is Oil Broken Up Over Chavez Death," The New York Post , 3/10/13)
- Meeks Claimed He Was "Honored" To Represent The United States At Chavez's Funeral Along With Former Representative William Delahunt. "I am honored to be a part of a delegation that will represent the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday, March 8. I will be joined on this delegation by former U.S. Representative William Delahunt, and U.S. Embassy Caracas Chargé d'Affaires James Derham." (Press Release, "Congressman Gregory W. Meeks Statement On His Upcoming Trip Representing The United States At The Funeral Of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez," Rep. Gregory Meeks , 3/7/13)
Former Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA) Had A Relationship With Chavez And Introduced The Idea Of Oil Donations To Chavez. "Former Rep. Bill Delahunt from Massachusetts, who served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, built up a relationship with Chavez and broached the idea of the oil donations as Congress was cutting back on home-heating-oil assistance, said Mark Forest, Delahunt's former chief-of-staff." (Isabel Vincent, "RFK Son Is Oil Broken Up Over Chavez Death," The New York Post , 3/10/13)
However, Democrats Have Remained Silent On Venezuela Since It Entered Its Current Crisis
In May 2016, Sanders Failed To Comment About The Crisis In Venezuela With His Claim That He Only Was Concerned About "Running For President Of The United States." UNIVISION'S LEÓN KRAUZE: "I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?" SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): "You are asking me questions…" KRAUZE: "I am sure you're interested in that." SANDERS: "I am very interested, but right now I'm running for President of the United States." KRAUZE: "So you don't have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?" SANDERS: "Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I'm focused on my campaign." ( Univision , 5/26/16)
- Sanders' Silence May Have Been Influenced By The Fact That President Maduro Had Endorsed Sanders In 2016, Calling Him A "Revolutionary Friend." "During a television broadcast on Tuesday night, Maduro -- who has expressed support for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, in the past -- called the Democratic candidate 'our revolutionary friend' and said it was only 'an archaic (electoral) system that is 200 years old' keeping him from the presidency." (Gregory Krieg, "Venezuela's Maduro Backs Sanders," CNN , 6/1/16)
UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEADERSHIP, THE UNITED STATES HAS TAKEN A STRONG STANCE AGAINST MADURO'S REGIME
In Response To Maduro's Maltreatment And Human Rights Violations, President Trump Has Imposed Sanctions On Venezuela
On August 24, 2017, President Trump Imposed Financial Sanctions On Venezuela Which Prohibited U.S. Citizens And Entities From Pursuing Financial Deals With The Government Of Venezuela Or The Country's Oil Company PDVSA. "On August 24, 2017, President Trump issued E.O. 13808 "Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to the Situation in Venezuela." This Order, among other things, prohibits transactions by a United States person or within the United States related to certain new debt of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and certain new debt or new equity of the Government of Venezuela, existing bonds issued by the Government of Venezuela prior to August 25, 2017, and dividend payments or other distributions of profits to the Government of Venezuela from any entity owned or controlled by the Government of Venezuela. In addition, E.O, 13808 prohibits the purchase by a U.S. person or within the United States of most securities from the Government of Venezuela." ("Venezuela Related Sanctions," U.S. Department Of State , Accessed 4/11/18)
On March 19, 2018, President Trump Imposed Further Financial Sanctions On Venezuela Which Prohibited U.S. Citizens And Entities From Making Digital Transactions With Venezuela. "On March 19, 2018, President Trump issued E.O. 13827 "Taking Additional Steps to Address the Situation in Venezuela." This Order prohibits all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018. The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) simultaneously issued frequently asked questions clarifying that compliance obligations are the same, regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in digital currency or a traditional fiat currency. OFAC also clarified that U.S. persons and persons otherwise subject to OFAC jurisdiction that facilitate or engage in online commerce or process transactions using digital currency insofar are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage in unauthorized transactions prohibited by U.S. sanctions." ("Venezuela Related Sanctions," U.S. Department Of State , Accessed 4/11/18)
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