U.S. considers sanctions to restrict Visa, Mastercard in Venezuela: official

www.reuters.com

The United States is considering imposing financial sanctions that could prohibit Visa, Mastercard and other financial institutions from processing transactions in Venezuela in an effort to "[tighten] the financial noose on the government of President Nicolas Maduro." All of a sudden China's decision to block Visa and Mastercard from entry into the country starts to make a bit more sense. Financial infrastructure relies on trust, reliability and neutrality to be successful. The US government exerting political pressure using financial infrastructure as leverage towards regime change removes the underlying neutrality of the financial service. While not the first time the US has imposed these sanctions (North Korea, Iran, Syria...), today's uncertain political climate certainly has other countries questioning whether they, like China, need their own payment mechanisms.

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