Trump Administration Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Venezuela


The Trump administration on Friday slapped sweeping financial sanctions on Venezuela, barring banks from any new financial deals with the government or state-run oil giant PDVSA. The executive order also allows debt financing for exports of food, medicine and other humanitarian goods.

Venezuela bonds fell on Wednesday following a report the us government was considering a ban on trading in the country's debt, with some securities touching their lowest in 18 months.

The action followed President Nicolas Maduro's decision to convene a special assembly to rewrite the constitution of the oil-rich nation and assume many government powers.

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 USA financial system from contributing "to the corruption and impoverishment of the Venezuelan people".

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Venezuela's former oil minister Eulogio Del Pino will resume the role while incumbent Nelson Martinez will take over as the new chief of the state energy firm PDVSA, the Venezuelan president said Thursday.

"We are also victims, as he is, of fake news", Arreaza said in a rare show of solidarity with Trump. Several prominent opposition mayors have also been removed or ordered arrested by the government-stacked supreme court.

The widely anticipated sanctions come days after Vice President Mike Pence hinted earlier this week that Washington would be ramping up pressure on Venezuela.

"We continue to stand with the people of Venezuela during these trying times", Sanders said.

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Del Pino will soon go on a series of foreign trips to strengthen alliances ahead of a meeting of heads of state which will seek accords on oil and gas prices, President Nicolas Maduro said on state television.

Earlier this month, Muchacho made headlines when he called United States military intervention in Venezuela "inevitable".

Maduro is already struggling to combat widespread shortages and triple-digit inflation as oil production - the economy's lifeblood - has tumbled to its lowest level in more than two decades.

The sanctions are aimed at severely limiting the government's ability to finance itself, hoping to undermine President Nicolás Maduro's legitimacy among domestic supporters. Any economic sanctions, however mild, increase the risk of a default on Venezuela's ballooning debt.

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