On Friday, President Donald Trump made it official — he signed an executive order against Nicolas Maduro’s socialist regime in Venezuela, hitting them with massive financial sanctions.
In addition, the White House announced that they simply could not “stand by as Venezuela crumbles.”
“The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated.
Last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked about the failures of socialism in Venezuela in an interview. His response? He refused to comment.
The Trump administration said the presidential action aims to bar the Venezuelan government from issuing new debt and equity. It said it also seeks to stop dividend payments to the government as well as dealings in existing bonds.
The Treasury Department will, however, issue licenses to allow certain transactions to continue that would otherwise be prohibited. These provisions, the White House said, will help “mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people.”
In July, the Treasury sanctioned Maduro himself, alleging that his administration has attempted to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela. At the time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called Maduro a “dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people.”
Those July sanctions followed a controversial election that established a constitutional assembly which granted Maduro’s party sweeping power. Many countries had publicly said they would not recognize the outcome of that election.
Venezuela has been engulfed in an economic crisis, featuring skyrocketing inflation and food shortages. The country’s economy had been tied to its oil exports but was sent into a downward spiral amid crashing oil prices in 2014.
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