The company's decision led to authorities in Venezuela announcing that they were seizing a plant owned by the American cereal manufacturer. Notably, Evrofinance's biggest shareholders are two state-controlled Russian banks - sanctioned after Russia's annexation of Crimea - and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, as the country's government purchased a 49% stake in 2011.
Maduro is blaming everyone for his mess, mostly the USA, but "accusing America of creating Venezuela's crisis is about as fair as accusing O.J. Simpson of murdering Princess Diana - I'm not saying it would be completely out of character, it just happens to not be true in this particular instance", Oliver said.
Reports suggest popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitfinex have been staying away from it, for fear they would be violating sanctions.
Experts say that the petro is of little interest to foreigners other than drug traffickers and others active in Venezuela's burgeoning criminal underworld. Rating website ICOindex.com, which tracks initial coin offerings of cryptocurrencies, called it a "scam".
"An overwhelming majority of ICOs don't deliver on what they promise because their promoters are outright scammers or fall short on technical expertise".
The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company had already changed the way it counted results from that operation at the end of 2016. However, it seems Venezuela is getting a helping hand from a small Russian bank.
Despite the pressure, Maduro is showing no signs of slowing down.
Venezuelan authorities said they were handing a Kellogg Co plant to workers and reactivating production at the factory on Wednesday, a day after the U.S. cereal producer pulled out of the crisis-hit country.
But gaining worldwide acceptance remains an uphill battle.
Oliver admits that there's not much the USA can do to help Venezuela, opting instead to recruit That "70s Show " s Wilmer Valderrama, himself of Venezuelan descent, to dress as what is seemingly the only kind of confidant Maduro will heed: "a real, actual bird".
"That's a fairy tale. This is just an attempt to stop crypto from expanding".
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