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U.S. cuts financial ties with Venezuela’s Maduro

by Kent Covington
Posted 1/29/19, 11:27 am

The United States on Tuesday gave self-declared interim President Juan Guaidó control of the Venezuelan government’s accounts in U.S.-insured banks, turning up the pressure on embattled President Nicolás Maduro to step down. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and national security adviser John Bolton on Monday announced sanctions against the state-run oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela. The sanctions will block Maduro’s access to $7 billion in assets and could lead to $11 billion dollars in lost exports over the next year, Bolton said.

The measures further isolate Maduro, who over the weekend rejected calls by world leaders to hold a new presidential election. Many believe last year’s election in Venezuela was rigged. Guaidó, the opposition leader of the National Assembly, declared himself interim president amid protests against Maduro last week.

The United States and other Western nations now officially recognize Guaidó as leader of Venezuela. He welcomed the sanctions, saying they would stop Maduro from looting Venezuelan assets.

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