The U.S.is increasing pressure on the Venezuelan government in response to President Nicolas Maduro's moves to seize more authority amid a crippling recession and months of violent protests.
President Donald Trump sanctioned Venezuela on Friday after a democractic and humanitarian crisis developed in the nation under President Nicolas Maduro, seen here August 22.
The White House today announced potentially hard-hitting financial sanctions against the Venezuelan regime, banning the trade in new bonds issued by the government and its cash-cow state-run oil company PDVSA.
To view the full article, register now. He told them, "We are with you and we will stand with you until democracy is restored in Venezuela".
President Maduro's "officials are now resorting to opaque financing schemes and liquidating the country's assets at fire sale prices", one official said.
The measures approved today have been carefully calibrated, explained the White House, to cut Maduro off on a crucial source of funding and prevent the United States financial system from contributing "to the corruption and impoverishment of the Venezuelan people".
"The president is making sure that the US financial system will not be complicit in any future further placement of debt that would allow the Venezuelan government to finance this abhorrent behavior", a senior administration official told reporters. The executive order also allows debt financing for exports of food, medicine and other humanitarian goods.
At the White House press briefing, national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said that "no military actions are anticipated in the near future" to address the situation in Venezuela. In other words, they would not affect US oil imports from Venezuela.
In a conference call to brief reporters on the measures, the official said the United States has significant influence over Venezuela's economy but does not want to wield it in an irresponsible manner that could further burden the already struggling Venezuelan people.
Earlier this week Vice President Mike Pence vowed the USA would not allow "the collapse of Venezuela", saying such an event would "endanger" countries in the wider region.
Pence, however, made no reference to the military option that Trump said two weeks ago that he did not rule out, sparking a wave of criticism in Latin America.
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