Trump punishes Maduro government with financial sanctions

PDVSA, the Venezuelan State Oil Company that represents 95% of the country’s revenues.

HAVANA TIMES – Donald Trump went a step further in his pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and imposed for the first time a round of financial sanctions that include the blockade of the Venezuelan government’s debt bond trade and that of the State oil company PDVSA, reported dpa news.

“President Donald Trump has signed an executive order imposing new and harsh financial sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela,” the White House announced.

Trump’s measure prohibits US citizens or companies from buying new bonds and bonds from the Venezuelan state and from the oil company.

It also restricts the bond negotiation that the Venezuelan State has, as well as the payment of dividends for them. There will be, however, a 30-day grace period before implementation.

The United States thus attacks one of the main channels of financing of the Government of Maduro. It also targets sanctions for the first time on the state oil company PDVSA, although at the moment, the White House did not take the big step of imposing an oil embargo. In fact, it leaves out of the sanctions approved today the export and import of crude oil.

Parallel to the sanctions, the Treasury Department has issued licenses to certain transactions “to mitigate the damage to the American and Venezuelan people” and the trade of crude oil is one of them. Transactions involving Citgo, the US subsidiary of PDVSA, are thus far protected.

The measures approved today have been carefully calibrated, explained the White House, to cut Maduro off on a crucial source of funding and prevent the US financial system from contributing “to the corruption and impoverishment of the Venezuelan people.”

Most trade between the two countries could continue to be financed as well as humanitarian assistance.

The new round of sanctions comes two days after Vice President Mike Pence met in Florida with representatives of the Venezuelan diaspora in the United States and promised them that the Trump Government will continue to pressure Maduro until democracy returns to the South American country.

Pence, however, made no reference to the military option that Trump said two weeks ago that he did not rule out, sparking a wave of criticism in Latin America.

“We will continue to act,” Pence assured the Venezuelan exiles, and spoke of continuing to exert economic and diplomatic pressure.

“The United States will not sit still watching Venezuela crumble,” Trump himself said in mid-July, when he threatened Maduro with “strong and swift economic action” if he continued the Constituent Assembly process.

This new round of sanctions is the fifth by the United States since Trump came to the White House. The first was in February, when the Treasury Department included Venezuelan vice president, Tareck El Aissami, on the drug trafficking list. In May, it imposed sanctions on eight members of the Supreme Court, including its president.

But it was following the call for the election of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly when the US increased significantly the pressure. On July 26, Washington sanctioned 13 officials related to the promotion of the Constituent Assembly, and the day after the July 30th vote, it sanctioned Maduro directly, freezing any bank accounts or assets he could have in the United States.

“Yesterday’s illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disparages the Venezuelan people’s desires,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, after the vote whose full results were never released.

After the inauguration of the Constituent Assembly, the Trump administration sanctioned six members of the Assembly, including the elder brother of the late President Hugo Chavez.

6 thoughts on “Trump punishes Maduro government with financial sanctions

  • OK Kennedy Earle Clarke, having as usual, vented your spleen upon the US in particular and “Middle Eastern countries” in general, let us consider Nicholas Maduro as it is his dictatorship that is under discussion.
    The last democatic election in Venezuela was in 2015, when the opposition won a clear majority – much wider than the Presidential election where despite controling the media, Maduro only squeaked home by 1% of the vote. It is that 2015 democratically elected government that Maduro has eradicated by abandoning the Chavez constitution. As evidenced, many of Chavez’s most loyal supporters have opposed Maduro’s actions.
    Venezuela has become a failed state with both government and people in penury. Such is Maduro’s success – and one which you by expressing your support have adopted.

  • You are as usual Kennedy Earle Clarke, out of step with reality. You may through the confused haze of your mind be able to recall Nicholas Maduro taking every possible opportunity to abuse and deride the US since becoming President. This although the US has been both the largest customer and largest supplier of goods to Venezuela.
    The US has every right to decide with whom it wishes to do business. Maduro and others of his kind – including yourself – are only too willing to denounce capitalism, freedom of speech and action, but howl with anguish when cut of from its benefits.
    Maduro can go and get support from others of his own kind – can’t he?

  • Brother Carlyle, Let me keep reminding you that Venezuels is a Sovereign Country just as the USA is. You keep harping about dictatorship, what about the leaders in the Middle Eastern countries where no elections whatsoever are ever held, why don’t you implement DEMOCRACY there? Maduro was DEMOCRATICALLY Elected. Didn’t the USA and the CIA overthrew a DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT ALLENDE in CHILE in 1973?

    Why not comment on what is taking place in the USA where Right Winged White Supremacists, the NEO-NAZIS, The KLU KLUX KLAN and all other RACIST GROUPS have sprung up in the BASTION of DEMOCRACY, ARE you telling me that WHITE SUPREMACY and RAMPANT and BLATANT RACISM are equated with DEMOCRACY? Why is it that since the election of Donald Trump these racist organizations have suddenly found the courage to come to the fore, Why?.

    Do you notice brother Carlyle that HAVANA TIMES have not uttered a word about the TERRORIST HAND of RACISM raising its fists in the USA, WHY? Is this the FREEDOM OF SPEECH YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ADVOCATING? Criticize other countries but stay mum to the atrocities meted out in the land of the free and the home of the brave The USA has supported the worst of the worst DICTATORSHIPS in the world. Do you know why the USA is so anti- Maduro? It is because like his predecessor Hugo Chavez and his mentor Comrade Fidel Castro, they look after the interest of the working class and the USA which supports the oligarchs and the oppressors, hates this!

  • Citizens of the USA balked at the idea of Russia interfering in their Presidential Elections. Yet, today, Donald Trump is BLATANTLY INTERFERING into the Internal Affairs of Venezuela which is a SOVEREIGN Country under the United Nations Charter. Donald Trump has his hands full with the rising up of so many Right Winged White Supremacists, NEO- NAZIS, the Emergence of the KLU-KLUX-KLAN.

  • Maduro has disparaged the US at every opportunity since he took over as President. The world has observed his suppression of dissent and removal of the elected National Assembly. The US is by far the largest customer of Venezuela and also its largest supplier.
    It is the proper perogative of the US to cease any form of economic relationship with Venezuela if it so chooses. If Maduro continues with his policy of assuming dictatorship against the will of the people recorded in 2015, he will be unable to complain with any justification about any non-military economic action by the US.

  • Nothing short of an oil embargo with get and keep Maduro’s attention. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan people, Maduro thinks he is cut from the same cloth as the Castros. As a result, he is going to try to be just as stubborn.

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