gpolit.com
gpolit.com May 24, 2018


US hits 3 Venezuelans, 20 companies, with sanctions

10 May 2018, 12:17 | Rufus Hill

A customer displays new 500 Bolivar banknotes in Caracas Venezuela Jan. 17 2017. Carlos Becerra—Bloomberg Getty Images

A customer displays new 500 Bolivar banknotes in Caracas Venezuela Jan. 17 2017

The United States has already leveled sanctions at Mr Maduro and his officials, as well on the the ability of Venezuela's faltering state oil company PDVSA to raise money through U.S. financial markets.

The new sanctions continue a pattern of stepped-up US measures on individuals connected to Maduro, who is blamed by President Donald Trump's administration for a deep recession and hyperinflation in OPEC member Venezuela that has caused food shortages and sent a flood of migrants into neighbouring countries.

She said the May 20 elections, in which Maduro is seeking re-election, would be fraudulent if independent observers were absent.

Pence previously has urged the worldwide community to increase pressure on Maduro, who the United States blames for a deep recession and hyperinflation in Venezuela that have caused shortages of food and medicine and a flood of migrants into neighboring countries.

"Suspend this sham election".

In August, the administration froze assets of eight current and former Venezuelan officials, including Adan Chavez, brother of the late president Hugo Chavez, and Hermann Escarra, a constitutional adviser to Maduro. "Every free nation gathered here must take stronger action to stand with the Venezuelan people and stand up to their oppressors". Twenty companies tied to those men are also under sanction.

"We believe it is time to do more, much more", Pence said in an address to the OAS in Washington.

The United States on Tuesday vowed to push to isolate Venezuela until its President Nicolas Maduro leaves power, urging allies to follow suit.

The Bolivarian government of Venezuela reaffirmed Tuesday its decision to renounce its membership at the Organization of American States (OAS), lamenting the body has returned to "its original condition as a colonial body, at the service of Washington's ambition for dominance in our region". "Systemic corruption and a collapse in the rule of law are defining features of Venezuela's government", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Pence "attempts to cover up the damage his government has caused to Venezuelan society through unilateral coercive measures with a false humanitarian concern, which seeks to bend the People's will to take the wealth and natural resources of our country", the statement reads. "And finally, we call on all freedom-loving nations across our hemisphere to hold Maduro accountable for destroying Venezuelans' democracy", Pence said.



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