wnol.info March 24 2018

Trump Signs Executive Order Slapping Venezuela With Financial Sanctions

March 24 2018, 08:01 | Irvin Gilbert

Trump Signs Executive Order Slapping Venezuela With Financial Sanctions

Venezuela Political Crisis

During a Latin America tour this month, Pence downplayed President Trump's recent talk of a "military option" for Venezuela while repeatedly raising the specter of sanctions.

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".

The Trump administration on Friday slapped tough new economic sanctions on Venezuela aimed at slowing the South American dictatorship's steady slide into totalitarianism.

WASHINGTON | The White House has imposed on Friday new sanctions against Venezuela, among which the ban on the purchase of new bonds issued by the Venezuelan government or the national oil company PDVSA. President Donald Trump signed an executive order approving the sanctions Thursday. "At the meeting table there were people involved in serious terrorist offenses; serious crimes against the integrity of the nation".

But there is a humanitarian crisis in the nation of almost 32 million, thanks largely to the economic devastation brought on by falling oil prices and production. Transactions involving Citgo, the United States subsidiary of PDVSA, are thus far protected.

Some strategists think the proposal to limit or halt trading of Venezuelan bonds would disproportionately hurt bondholders, while doing little if any harm to PDVSA or Venezuela, which are effectively cut off from bond market access anyway.

"These include provisions allowing for a 30-day wind-down period; financing for most commercial trade, including the export and import of petroleum; transactions only involving Citgo; dealings in select existing Venezuelan debts; and the financing for humanitarian goods to Venezuela", the White House stated.

The sanctions are nonetheless another blow to Venezuela's economy.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Russia Carlos Faria posted earlier on Twitter that the shipment was "a boost for Russian-Venezuelan cooperation".

The sanctions imposed Friday mark the fourth round of economic punishments for Maduro and his cronies handed down by the US this year. Addressing a crowd including Venezuelan expats, Pence said "our resolve is unwavering". So far that seems unlikely, if only because any disunity now would put all their backs up against the proverbial wall. That, they hope, will force Maduro to either back down from its illegitimate efforts to create a rubber-stamp parliament or perhaps even foment some cracks among Maduro's inner circle.

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