Trump Administration Slaps Economic Sanctions on Venezuela

26 August 2017, 01:01 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Venezuela Will Hold Referendum on New Constitution

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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.

Wall Street banks will be allowed to trade existing debt, but "the president's new action prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company", a White House statement said.

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On Aug. 9, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on eight Venezuelan individuals involved in the creation of the controversial ANC.

The White House said the latest sanctions are "carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule".

The move came after Washington blacklisted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on July 31, one day after Venezuela held elections for the ANC.

Friday's financial bans are the fifth round of USA sanctions to hit Venezuela since the start of the year.

The sanctions imposed Friday mark the fourth round of economic punishments for Maduro and his cronies handed down by the US this year.

But there is a humanitarian crisis in the nation of almost 32 million, thanks largely to the economic devastation brought on by falling oil prices and production.

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Venezuela's foreign minister is calling new USA financial sanctions "the worst aggressions to Venezuela in the last 200 years, maybe".

"We will not let the regime use our financial system to abuse the Venezuelan people and their rights", the official said Friday.

A senior administrative official told reporters that the goal of Friday's sanctions is to ensure the US financial system isn't "complicit" in the Maduro regime's degradation of democracy.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence signaled the move earlier Friday, tweeting that the U.S.

On Friday, journalists were invited to a shooting range at Caracas' main military base to watch as troops taught a handful of civilian government supporters how to fire assault weapons. Days after that vote, Maduro's assets were also frozen.

But with Venezuela's streets calmer than they have been for months, and the opposition reeling from its failure to prevent the constitutional assembly from going forward, action from an increasingly concerned global community represents the best chance of reining in Maduro, he added.

The ex-mayor and other right-wing politicians urged Pence to push for greater sanctions on Venezuela, according to AP. Since 2014, the country's economy has shrunk by more than a third.

"There is no way to get [the government] out by democratic means", Muchacho was quoted as stating by AP.

Venezuela has taken desperate steps to remain current on its debt throughout the economic crisis and the president has blamed his enemies for spreading rumors about any impending default.

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