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Trump issues executive order targeting Venezuela

Trump issues executive order targeting Venezuela
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President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE issued an executive order on Monday prohibiting people in the U.S. from carrying out certain financial transactions with the government of Venezuela.

The executive action prohibits “the purchase of any debt owed to the Government of Venezuela” and any debt owed to the country that is pledged as collateral.

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It also prevents the government of Venezuela from liquidating assets it has a majority ownership of.

“Today’s executive order closes another avenue for corruption that we have observed being used,” a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

The executive order comes one day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro won a second term in an election Vice President Pence and other U.S. officials have called a sham.

“Venezuela’s election was a sham ­— neither free nor fair. The illegitimate result of this fake process is a further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela,” Pence said in a statement earlier on Monday.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't Blinken: China 'didn't do what it needed to do' in early stages of pandemic Biden loves the Georgia boycott — So why won't he boycott the Beijing Olympic games? MORE said in a tweet on Sunday that the Venezuelan “sham elections change nothing.”

Sunday’s election saw significantly low turnout, with more than half of voters not casting ballots.

Nonetheless, Maduro won another six-year term with 68 percent of the vote.

Opposition leaders had called for a boycott of the election to protest the Maduro government.

Venezuela is facing an economic crisis with widespread food and medicine shortages largely attributed to falling oil prices and economic mismanagement.