Trump issues executive order targeting Venezuela

Trump issues executive order targeting Venezuela
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Top Dem demands State Department documents on Khashoggi killing 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.