Trump Administration Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Venezuela

The sanctions Trump signed by executive order are bound to dramatically escalate tensions between Venezuela and the US and exacerbate the country's economic crisis.

Venezuela's future constitution, to be written by a new assembly packed with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, will be put to a referendum, the pro-government lawmakers said Thursday, according to The Manila Times.

However, the order protects holders of most existing Venezuelan government and PDVSA bonds, who were relieved the sanctions did not go further. There will be, however, a 30-day grace period before implementation.

"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.

But many US and other global investors holding Venezuelan debt anxious that they also would have been harmed by any punitive measures that prevented the trading of these bonds. In fact, it leaves out of the sanctions approved today the export and import of crude oil.

In a conference call to brief reporters on the measures, the official said the United States has significant influence over Venezuela's economy but does not want to wield it in an irresponsible manner that could further burden the already struggling Venezuelan people. They also exempt transactions with PDVSA's USA subsidiary, Citgo.

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


"I'm not going to rule out a military option", Trump said.

"It will bolster his discourse that Venezuela is the target of an economic war", said Smilde.

Faria added that the second shipment will depart soon, reiterating that the continued support from Russian Federation amid United States sanctions and threats shows support for the Bolivarian people's rights and respect for its Constitution.

The sanctions are "uncivilised politics" and Venezuela is "a victim of fake news" that exaggerates the extent of its economic crisis, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said at the United Nations in NY.

Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Treasury Department froze all of Maduro's assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibited all U.S. citizens from dealing with him. In May, it imposed sanctions on eight members of the Supreme Court, including its president.

Washington on August 9 imposed sanctions against eight individuals, including the brother of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.


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