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US Imposes First Economic Sanctions Against Venezuela

26 August, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Venezuela Political Crisis

The first shipment of wheat from Russian Federation will arrive in Venezuela this week, President Nicolas Maduro assured Tuesday.

In an interview with RT in July, Maduro said the United States was trying to disrupt Venezuela's economy through an "indirect blockade", targeting the country's financial system, adding that the USA attempted to do the same thing in 2015 and 2016, with no success.

"We are also victims, as he is, of fake news", Arreaza said in a rare show of solidarity with Trump.

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

Venezuela is now in crisis. The White House issued a statement targeting Maduro's creation of a "constituent assembly" to replace the National Assembly and rewrite the Venezuelan constitution.

"This is immensely more than Obama ever did in two terms."

A senior administration officials told reporters that Maduro has made his intentions clear.

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The White House statement also accused the Maduro regime of irresponsibly going into debt to prop up its failing finances. The goal of these general licenses is to limit harm passed on to the Venezuelan and American people, the White House said.

Maduro and his allies, the official said, have "demonstrated clear intent to rely on repression and corruption to maintain power". Unrest has spread as Maduro has tightened his control of all branches of government and cracked down on dissent while the country's economic crisis continues.

More: Why is Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro so controversial? The sanctions are meant to block banks from dealing with the government of Venezuela and the state-run oil and natural gas company PDVSA. "We must continue to stand with the people of Venezuela -- and with our allies -- to restore democracy and basic human rights".

Any economic sanctions, however mild, increase the risk Venezuela will default on its ballooning debt.

The order allows for a 30-day wind-down period and exceptions for a variety of transactions, including existing bonds traded on the secondary market.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Friday at the United Nations that the new USA financial sanctions are "the worst aggressions to Venezuela in the last 200 years, maybe".

Prohibiting the purchase of any securities from the Venezuelan government, other than bonds with short maturation dates specified earlier. The event, attended by military officials from China, Belarus and Russian Federation, was a prelude to military exercises Maduro called for this weekend as a deterrent to any USA military intervention. It is better to hold the threat of oil industry sanctions as leverage, she said. "I don't know how it harms PDVSA or Venezuela", said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin American fixed-income strategy at Nomura. "After that, then what?"

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