Venezuela hit with new round of US sanctions

World Today

Venezuela hit with new round of U.S. sanctions

The White House is hitting Caracas with sweeping new sanctions. They’re designed to deny the Maduro government access to financing through the U.S. banking system.

And they target the national oil company: PDVSA.  CGTN’S Jessica Stone reports.


The sanctions are designed to keep the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from accessing financing through the U.S. banking system. They target the national oil company: PDVSA.

“Maduro may no longer take advantage of the American financial system to facilitate the wholesale looting of the Venezuelan economy at the expense of the Venezuelan people,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “These measures will also undermine Maduro’s ability to pay off political cronies and regime supporters and increase pressure on the regime to abandon its disastrous path.”

The order does carve out some exceptions to protect supplies of food, medicine, and medical devices.

CITGO, a Venezuelan owned American refiner,- also gets an exception.

In July, Maduro backed a vote to elect a new constitutional assembly with the power to rewrite the national constitution. The assembly includes his wife and son and resulted in massive public protests.

Venezuela’s foreign minister says it’s Washington’s sanctions that amount to what he calls “uncivilized politics.”

“We are in the house of law, of international law, of the elemental principles of the United Nations charter, of respect to the sovereignty of peoples, of non-interference, and the United Nations cannot– as we told the Secretary General– stand by with their arms crossed and not condemn these actions,” said Jorge Arreaza at the United Nations.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the sanctions don’t have to be permanent if the Venezuelan government returns to stability and peace.

But Arreaza maintains that Venezuela is still a democracy.

“It’s a democracy, and I don’t know what the United States is trying to make a strange case about Venezuela, but we’re clear of our position and we’re going to defend our people and our democracy with all the means that we have,” he said.