Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

US Threatens to Target Countries That Support Venezuela's Maduro

US Threatens to Target Countries That Support Venezuela's Maduro

USA national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday that tough new US sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would choke off his global financing and warned Russian Federation not to provide Venezuela with further support.

Wide-reaching USA sanctions aimed at toppling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government could inflict further damage on an economy already reeling from six-digit by scaring off remaining investors.

Previous sanctions targeting the South American nation's oil industry, the source of nearly all of its export earnings, have already accelerated a crash in oil production that started with Maduro's election in 2013 following the death of his mentor Hugo Chavez. Trump's sweeping economic lockout will not make things better. "This is big", said Ana Quintana, senior policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said in an interview that the country is "facing a transnational legal coup planned by the USA government".

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognised as interim president by the U.S. and dozens of other countries, Tweeted his approval of the move, saying it "seeks to protect Venezuelans" from Maduro's "dictatorship".

The order also exposes foreign entities doing business with the Maduro government to USA retaliation.

Trump said on Thursday he was considering a quarantine or blockade of Venezuela, although he did not elaborate at the time on when or how such a blockade would be imposed.

He added that Venezuela is working on an "alternative architecture" to counter USA sanctions, but which makes transactions more costly.

The Lima Group invited around 100 countries to the meeting but many - including Venezuela's allies China, Russia, Cuba and Turkey - did not attend.

Yet it represents the most sweeping US action to remove Maduro since the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's rightful leader in January. Maduro has blamed outsiders, including the United States, for creating the crisis.

Trump announced Monday American companies would no longer be allowed to do business with President Nicolas Maduro's government.

He added in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency that it represents an "open meddling into Venezuela's internal affairs".

"One way to summarise this to a business, for example, is 'do you want to do business in Venezuela or do you want to do business with the United States?'" said UN National Security Adviser John Bolton in Lima, Peru.

Spain, Britain, France, Sweden, Germany, Japan and Denmark joined the U.S., Canada and most Latin American countries in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader.

Maduro "ratifies his call for unity" among all Venezuelan sectors "to confront this new phase of economic and political terrorism", said the ministry, adding the executive order is in "violation of the principles. of the United Nations Charter". Shortages of food and medicine are frequent, and public services are progressively failing.

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