US President Trump has issued a new Executive Order, which takes additional steps to address the situation in Venezuela. In particular, it prohibits US persons from transacting/dealing with “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 “Government of Venezuela” is stated as including the Central Bank of Venezuela, as well as the state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA).
Acting concurrently, OFAC has released new FAQs related to this Executive Order (which confirms that both the ‘petro’ and the ‘petro-gold’ fall within the Executive Order), as well as a set of new Digital Currency-related FAQs. Furthermore, OFAC has designated 4 current or former Venezuelan government officials pursuant to Executive Order 13692 (asset freezes imposed), namely: Willian Antonio Contreras (‘Vice Minister of Internal Commerce’), Nelson Reinaldo Lepaje Salazar (‘Head of the Office of the National Treasury’), Americo Alex Mata Garcia (‘Alternate Director on the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Housing and Habitat’), and Carlos Alberto Rotondaro Cova (‘Former President of the Board of Directors of the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security’). See OFAC Notice here, and US Treasury press release here.