By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017, and in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful, hereby order as follows:
Section 1. (a) 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, are prohibited as of the effective date of this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches of such entities), or any person within the United States; and
(d) the term “Government of Venezuela” means the Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Venezuela.
Sec. 4. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including promulgating rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to implement this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and executive departments and agencies of the United States Government. All agencies of the United States Government shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are affected by this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692, there need be no prior notice given for implementation of this order.
Sec. 6. This 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, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 7. This order is effective at 12:15 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 19, 2018.
DONALD J. TRUMP
This should come as no surprise, however we should understand the higher play here. As we explain in Splitting Pennies - the US Dollar is backed by bombs. There is an underlying subtle threat - use US Dollars and drink Coca Cola or we'll bomb you. It is good for business.
Let's just take a step back one generation, does anyone remember this news?
A bizarre political statement by Saddam Hussein has earned Iraq a windfall of hundreds of million of euros. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar - 'the currency of the enemy' - for the more multilateral euro.
The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time.
Almost all of Iraq's oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York.
The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars.
At the time of the change the UN issued a report saying that the move could cost Iraq up to £270 million. Independent experts questioned the value of buying into a plummeting currency.
'It was seen as economically bad because the entire global oil trade is conducted in dollars,' says Fadhil Chalabi, executive director of the Centre for Global Energy Studies.
It seems that anyone who attempts to thwart US Dollar hegemony ends up getting bombed. It may be all a coincidence, we will see shortly. The big question is -
IS VENEZUELA NEXT?
The country is in a de-facto state of war anyway, with rampant inflation, pirates and robbers controlling the streets, and an underground Crypto mining industry that's keeping some away from starvation, on the down low:
There are stories of the government confiscating computers and mining equipment from people. Tell us about this.
Yes, sometimes the police squad that visits your place decides to seize your mining equipment, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
What do they do with the equipment?
Rumor has it they install them on government facilities.
So the Venezuelan government, in its desperate need to generate funds in a chaotic environment with a worthless domestic currency, has launched the boldest Cryptocurrency project to date, a government & commodity backed Crypto.
While the politics are hardly comparable, the US narrative is fairly consistent since the success of operation PBFORTUNE in 1954.
Operation PBFORTUNE, also known as Operation FORTUNE, was the name of a covert United States operation to overthrow the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz in 1952. The operation was authorized by US President Harry Truman and planned by the Central Intelligence Agency. The United Fruit Company had lobbied intensively for the overthrow because landmark land reform enacted by Árbenz threatened its economic interests. The coup attempt was also motivated by US fears that the government of Árbenz was being influenced by communists. It involved providing weapons to the exiled Guatemalan military officer Carlos Castillo Armas, who was to lead an invasion from Nicaragua. The coup was planned with the knowledge and support of Anastasio Somoza García, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo and Marcos Pérez Jiménez, the US-backed right-wing dictators of Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Venezuela respectively, as well as the United Fruit Company. However, the US State Department discovered that details of the plan had become too widely known. US Secretary of State Dean Acheson was worried that the coup attempt would damage the image of the US, which had committed to a policy of non-intervention, and so terminated the operation. Operation PBFORTUNE was a precursor to Operation PBSUCCESS, the covert operation that toppled Árbenz and ended the Guatemalan Revolution in 1954.
For those of you who are just joining us, the US has led a global Empire since World War 2 and been the exclusive power in the world economically and militarily (although, when you dig deeper, the US is just a tool the real owners are mostly non-US).
If we are looking at things statically, today's EO fits the same pattern as a number of others pre-invasion. With Russia being completely and 100% cleared of any wrongdoing, hacking, meddling, and social media botting - US war mongers are desperate to find a new enemy. Venezuela fits the bill as South America has been the local playground for spycraft since the creation of the CIA.
IS VENEZUELA NEXT?
We shall see in the days ahead. Sunken boats, terrorism, strange things in Miami - who knows. Maybe this time it will be something digital. Venezuela will be blamed for 'hacking' into something, or a building in Miami will collapse. Lots of rich Venezuelan consultants ready to help their hosts to go down and reclaim what was taken from them by the communists.
"We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace," said Maduro, who wore a green uniform and a military hat as he spoke with his army top brass during a military exercise involving tanks and missiles. "We need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready....to defend every inch of the territory if needs be," he added.
This is part 1 of a series IS VENEZUELA NEXT?