US placed new sanctions on Venezuela’s oil giant
Almaty. January 29. KazTAG - The Trump administration is sanctioning Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, adding significant pressure on President Nicolás Maduro to step down and transfer power to the US-backed resistance leader who is challenging his claim to the presidency, reports VOX.
But some worry the move could backfire — angering Maduro and giving him all the more reason to cling to power.
Venezuela is currently in the midst of a political standoff between two men who both claim to be the legitimate president of Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro, who was reelected president in May 2018, and opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
Guaidó claims the 2018 election was rigged and that he, as the head of the National Assembly (the country’s legislative body), is now the rightful president according to the country’s constitution.
The United States has officially recognized Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president and called Maduro’s claim to the presidency “illegitimate.” But Maduro has responded with defiance, and has so far shown no sign of stepping down.
These sanctions are an attempt to change Maduro’s mind about that.
Based on an executive order President Donald Trump issued on Monday, the US Treasury Department has enacted financial penalties on Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), the behemoth state-owned oil and natural gas company that provides the country with thousands of jobs and billions in revenue.
Maduro uses the enterprise to reward his cronies and buy loyalty. For instance, he offers top members of Venezuela’s military a stake in the energy giant.
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