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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (Center) holds a gold bar during a meeting with representatives of the mining sector in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 January 2018

Maduro said all “traitors” of social policies would receive punishment at the ballot box.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on his compatriots to repudiate political maneuvering by the National Assembly, AN, to undermine the country's new digital currency, the Petro. 

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He said that all “traitors” of the South American country would receive punishment at the ballot box, which will determine who wins this year's presidential election.

During a public meeting with workers at the Bicentenario Square in the Miraflores Palace, the head of state condemned criticisms made by the AN's new president, Omar Barboza, concerning several government initiatives, including the launch of the Petro.

Maduro warned Barboza, founder of The New Time opposition party, that he will face political resistance to any attempts made against the Venezuelan people and demanded respect for the rights of his compatriots. He noted that the Petro's launch was responded to by Barboza with insulting remarks. The AN president was then asked to meet with Maduro for a dialogue.

Maduro went on to remind the political opposition that those who attack social-based politics and request a military intervention masked under the title of a "humanitarian mission" would be penalized by voters in this year's presidential election.

The launch of the Petro is intended, among other financial benefits, to mitigate the obstacles imposed on the country by way of U.S. sanctions.

It's another attempt by the Venezuelan government to further throw off the shackles of U.S. dollar hegemony and comes amid the spectacular rise of Bitcoin – as well as multiple offshoots of the cryptocurrency – which have gained traction in the mainstream investment world despite the shocks that cryptocurrencies would undergo if regulators were to begin scrutinizing them.

Cryptocurrencies typically are not backed by any government or central banks, nor are they regulated. However, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission has been increasingly tracking digital currencies, classing some tokens as securities, thus making them subject to oversight.

The move has raised worries that cryptocurrencies, which analysts say is enjoying a period of massive overvaluation, could see their bubble burst rapidly in the near-term.


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