Published: Sat, August 26, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Trump punishes Maduro government with financial sanctions

Trump punishes Maduro government with financial sanctions

The U.S. suspects PDVSA, the source of most of the government's funding, has become a corrupt, money-laundering enterprise.

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 USA financial system from contributing "to the corruption and impoverishment of the Venezuelan people".

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Friday that the White House does not anticipate taking any "military actions" against Venezuela "in the near future".

USA Today reports that these sanctions are created to cut off some loopholes in earlier sanctions by targeting the government and PDVSA directly.

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

But the sanctions don't apply to short-term financing for oil sales.

The Constituent Assembly, which plans to stay in place for two years, was originally tasked with rewriting the oil-rich, cash-poor country's 1999 constitution, promulgated by the late Hugo Chavez, Maduro's mentor.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence signaled the move earlier Friday, tweeting that the U.S.

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"This week the first cargo of Russian wheat - the best in the world - will arrive", Maduro told the press at a conference in Caracas broadcast by the state television channel, VTV.

The Trump administration has already slapped sanctions against 30 senior Venezuelan officials, including Maduro himself.

Venezuela bonds fell on Wednesday following a report the USA government was considering a ban on trading in the country's debt, with some securities touching their lowest in 18 months.

"It will bolster his discourse that Venezuela is the target of an economic war", said Smilde, who supports Friday's more limited sanctions.

This includes any transactions involving new debt or equity issued by the Venezuelan government or PDVSA.

But with Venezuela's streets calmer than they have been for months, and the opposition still reeling from its failure to prevent the constitutional assembly from going forward, action from increasingly concerned global community represents the best chance of reining in Maduro, he added.

Venezuela has taken desperate steps to remain current on its debt throughout the economic crisis, and the president has blamed his enemies for spreading rumors about any impending default.

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