Boom: U.S. Sanctions Venezuela's Largest State Owned Oil Company

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Posted: Jan 28, 2019 4:25 PM
Boom: U.S. Sanctions Venezuela's Largest State Owned Oil Company

Source: Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin announced new sanctions on Venezuela's largest state run oil company Monday afternoon as dictator Nicolas Maduro refuses to step down from power. 

“The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline, and will continue to use the full suite of its diplomatic and economic tools to support Interim President Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy,” Mnuchin released in a statement.  “Today’s designation of PdVSA [Petroleos de Venezuela] will help prevent further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela.  The path to sanctions relief for PdVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the Interim President or a subsequent, democratically elected government.”  

During a briefing at the White House, Mnuchin added that Petroleos de Venezuela has "long been a vehicle for corruption."

Secretary Mike Pompeo, who urged the international community to condemn Maduro at the United Nations Sunday, backed the move from the State Department.

Maduro is desperately clinging to power as the illegitimate president of the country, prompting Bolton to strongly warn there will be severe consequences should he harm Americans working in the country or go after President Juan Guiado.