Trump Signs Order Authorizing New Sanctions on Venezuela

Trump Signs Order Authorizing New Sanctions on Venezuela

Trump Signs Order Authorizing New Sanctions on Venezuela

Del Pino, who has worked for PDVSA for about 30 years, had been in charge of the company from 2014 until January, when his dual roles of president and oil minister were split to make Martinez, previously the head of US -based unit Citgo Petroleum Corp., the new minister.

The exceptions are designed "to mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people", according to the White House statement.

"The regime's decision to create an illegitimate Constituent Assembly - and most recently to have that body usurp the powers of the democratically elected National Assembly - represents a fundamental break in Venezuela's legitimate constitutional order".

The new economic sanctions are likely to worsen a crisis that has already seen the oil-dependent economy shrink by around 35 percent since 2014 - more than the USA economy did during the Great Depression.

Mnuchin said Friday that President Trump's executive order barring USA banks from providing new money to the Venezuelan government or state oil company will ensure Maduro can no longer utilize the US financial system to "facilitate the wholesale looting of the Venezuelan economy".

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"This has been a catastrophe for the country", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in Friday's White House press briefing.

The administration also called on his government to restore representative democracy, free political prisoners and end repression.

Protests have shaken the streets of Caracas since April, when the Venezuelan Supreme Court, loyal to the Maduro regime, assumed the responsibilities of the National Assembly, widely seen as a last stronghold of the opposition. Days after that vote, Maduro's assets were also frozen.

The sanctions are "uncivilised politics" and Venezuela is "a victim of fake news" that exaggerates the extent of its economic crisis, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said at the United Nations in NY.

On Aug. 9, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on eight Venezuelan individuals involved in the creation of the controversial ANC. "No military actions are anticipated in the near future". "We try to integrate all elements together".

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"I'm not going to rule out a military option", Trump said.

David Smilde, a Tulane University sociologist who has spent decades researching Venezuela, said blanket sanctions that immediately cut off the government's cash flow and hurt the population are likely to strengthen Maduro in the short-term.

Maduro accused the U.S. of imposing a "financial blockade" on Venezuela earlier this week.

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

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