United States imposes new sanctions on Venezuela

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Trump first mentioned the possibility of using military force in Venezuela earlier this month, telling reporters: "We have many options for Venezuela, and by the way, I'm not going to rule out a military option for Venezuela", Trump said. The Trump administration explained that these provisions will "mitigate harm" to Venezuelans and keep the US financial system from being complicit in Maduro's corruption and impoverishment of his nation's citizens.

"We'll have to endure sacrifices but we must safeguard the country and sovereign motherland in order to break the blockade", he said. He said the sanctions were not aimed at "changing leadership" in Venezuela.

The Maduro regime is running out of money.

Departing on August 9, the first of a monthly shipment holding 60,000 tons of wheat will make its way to the Bolivarian nation, honoring an agreement made between the Russian and Venezuelan government in May.

Prohibiting payments of dividends or other profit to the Venezuela government by any USA -based entity owned by that government, including Citgo.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza spoke at the United Nations Friday, hours after the Trump administration announced the new measures. He called relations with the US the worst in history.

Venezuela has already been wracked by widespread shortages and triple-digit inflation as its oil-dependent economy has faltered. Our goal is to pressure Maduro and apply that pressure so that he understands that we're serious and understands that we're on the side of the people of Venezuela. Under Nicolas Maduro, citizens are being starved and denied basic rights. Arreaza says it's a democracy that has been misportrayed by Washington and the media.

The new sanctions prohibit banks from fostering new deals, including those involving debt and equity, with the government and the country's state-run oil company, PDVSA.

"This order demonstrates more clearly than ever that the United States will not allow an illegitimate dictatorship to take hold in the Western Hemisphere at the expense of its people", National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said at Friday's White House briefing.

"The president is making sure that the USA financial system will not be complicit in any future further placement of debt that would allow the Venezuelan government to finance this abhorrent behavior", a senior administration official told reporters. The order also limits the trading of some existing bonds that are owned by Venezuela's public sector.

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