Trump Declares Venezuela "Dictatorship", Imposes Financial Sanctions

Trump Declares Venezuela

Trump Declares Venezuela "Dictatorship", Imposes Financial Sanctions

Venezuela and PDVSA are under intense scrutiny from investors as USA sanctions against key government officials and a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro threaten to disrupt financial flows. They restrict the ability of Venezuela and state-owned oil company PDVSA to issue new debt or stock in US dollars, or engage in other financial dealings with USA citizens. The Trump administration explained that these provisions will "mitigate harm" to Venezuelans and keep the USA financial system from being complicit in Maduro's corruption and impoverishment of his nation's citizens.

"We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles", Pence said.

"We have troops all over the world".

"It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela", the White House said in a statement.

Under the executive order, the Treasury Department can still issue waivers to allow some bond transactions to proceed.

Also, the state oil company is the target of possible sanctions by the Trump administration.

Yields on Venezuela's benchmark 2038 sovereign bond and those of state-run oil company PDVSA's benchmark 2037 bond rose modestly after the announcement of the latest round of US sanctions.

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The White House said in a statement that the sanctions allow for humanitarian assistance. But by making it harder for Venezuela to raise cash, the country's oil production, already at the lowest level in more than two decades, is likely to fall further. It will prohibit the regime and its state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) from selling new bonds to U.S. citizens or USA financial institutions.

Trump has even raised the possibility of military action in Venezuela, although the White House seems to have focused more on economic and diplomatic sanctions.

President Donald Trump sanctioned Venezuela on Friday after a democractic and humanitarian crisis developed in the nation under President Nicolas Maduro, seen here August 22.

Despite vast oil reserves, the South American country of 31 million people has widespread shortages of food and basic necessities, along with triple-digit inflation.

Maduro's socialist government - facing months of deadly mass protests - has been accused of hijacking state institutions and moving ever-deeper into autocratic rule.

But Vice President Mike Pence, during a visit to Colombia last week, tried to walk back the idea without flatly contradicting the President.

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