Trump Freezes Venezuelan Government Assets in US

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President Donald Trump has ordered a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the United States — the toughest sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s government so far.

“All property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States … are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, or otherwise dealt in,” Trump’s executive order late Monday said.

There has been no response so far from the Venezuelan government.

The United States has been increasing the economic and diplomatic pressure on President Maduro, who has refused to give up power despite a popular uprising against his authoritarian government.

Trump said last week he is considering a blockade or quarantine of Venezuela. He gave no details of such plans but has always said military action in Venezuela remains on the table.

Russia and Cuba have already sent forces to Venezuela in support of Maduro.

The United States was the first to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela after he used his constitutional power as National Assembly leader to declare Maduro’s presidency illegitimate.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country’s rightful interim ruler, gestures as he speaks during a session of Venezuela’s National Assembly at a public square in Caracas, July 23, 2019..

Guaido claimed Maduro’s re-election last year was fraudulent. Guaido led a popular uprising against Maduro earlier this year, which appears to have fizzled out.

The collapse in world energy prices, corruption and failed socialist policies have wrecked oil-rich Venezuela’s economy and millions have fled the country and its severe shortages of fuel, quality medical care and many food staples.

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