US sanctions Venezuelan officials to pressure Maduro

By REUTERS
July 26, 2017 19:34
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The Trump administration imposed sanctions on 13 senior officials of Venezuela's government, military and state oil company PDVSA on Wednesday, US officials said, seeking to ratchet up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to scrap plans for a controversial new congress.

The United States targeted individuals, including the country's army and police chiefs, the national director of elections and a PDVSA vice president, while sparing Venezuela for now from broader financial or "sectoral" sanctions against its vital oil industry – though such actions, the officials told Reuters, are still under consideration.

The move is aimed at showing Maduro's socialist government that U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to make good on his threat of "strong and swift economic actions" if it goes ahead with plans for a vote on Sunday to establish a constituent assembly that critics say will cement Maduro as dictator, the officials said.

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