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US Imposes New Sanctions on Venezuela

Washington (August 26, 2017): United States President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order  imposing new sanctions on Venezuela.

The action bars U.S. citizens and banks from buying new bonds from the Venezuelan government or its state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA. The order also limits the trading of some existing bonds that are owned by Venezuela’s public sector.

“We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” the White House said in a statement. The Treasury Department has already issued a wide range of sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his associates after he moved to consolidate power in July.

Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Treasury Department froze all of Maduro’s assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibited all U.S. citizens from dealing with him.

The goal of Friday’s sanctions is to protect the U.S. financial system “from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people.”

Venezuela is currently in crisis. It has been rocked by street protests against Maduro’s government, which has moved to consolidate power and silence the opposition. And the economy is spiraling out of control, with rampant inflation causing severe shortages of food and medicine for the nation’s 30 million people. This is the fourth round of sanctions that the federal government has enacted against Venezuela.

Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the sanctions in remarks made to press outside the United Nations building in New York.

“Maybe the United States is trying to create, to promote a humanitarian crisis in our country,” he said.

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