The White House has slammed fresh financial sanctions on Venezuela.
This is aimed at pressuring the
government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
The sanctions ordered by President Donald Trump target Maduro’s ability to raise money to support his embattled government or to finance the long-term operations of the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., the country’s main source of income.
Maduro clamped down on political opposition and consolidated power in his government’s hands.
Trump had issued a threat to Maduro, warning the U.S. might intervene in the chaos enveloping the South American country. “I’m not going to rule out a military option,” Trump said. “We have troops all over the world. … Venezuela is not very far away.”
A statement by the White House said, “To mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people, the Treasury Department is issuing general licenses that allow for transactions that would otherwise be prohibited by the Executive Order. These include provisions allowing for a 30-day wind-down period; financing for most commercial trade, including the export and import of petroleum; transactions only involving Citgo; dealings in select existing Venezuelan debts; and the financing for humanitarian goods to Venezuela.
“These measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule, protect the United States financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people, and allow for humanitarian assistance.
“The United States is not alone in condemning the Maduro regime. Through the Lima Declaration of August 8, our friends and partners in the region refused to recognize the illegitimate Constituent Assembly or the laws it adopts. The new United States financial sanctions support this regional posture of economically isolating the Maduro dictatorship.
“The United States reiterates our call that Venezuela restore democracy, hold free and fair elections, release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally, and end the repression of the Venezuelan people. We continue to stand with the people of Venezuela during these trying times.”