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Maduro blasts new US sanctions on Venezuelan gold

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo by Eneas De Troya, CC BY 2.0, Flickr.

This week, the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, announced that President Donald Trump signed a new executive order that forbids American companies and individuals from buying Venezuelan gold.

During a discourse at the Liberty Tower in Miami, Bolton explained that the decision was made given that, in the view of the White House, the Nicolas Maduro regime has been looting the riches of his country to satisfy his and his comrades’ corrupt desires.

The order also forbids Americans from doing business with any other sector that the authorities consider pertinent.

Before an audience comprised of migrants from different Latin American countries, Bolton recognized that many have endured “horrors” at the hands of the Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan governments. He said that the Trump administration is committed to fighting dictators performing atrocities in neighbouring countries.

In response to such allegations, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro said the sanctions are “crazy” and “schizophrenic.” He added that his country is not going to kneel down before the American imperialism.

In a televised announcement, Maduro said his government is now certifying 32 gold fields that “are going to set Venezuela as the second largest gold reserve on Earth”.

The politician said the massive mining project will be financed by both the public and the private sector and is expected to generate $5 billion in 2019.

As a reference, in the first nine months of 2018, Venezuela sold 23.62 tonnes of gold to Turkey for about $900 million.

Maduro also said that his government is installing 54 gold processing plants. The first one already in operation, named Sarrapia, is located in the southeastern Bolívar state and it is currently able to process 45 kilograms of gold. However, the expectation is that it reaches the mark of 90 kilos of gold processed by July 2019.