US announces new sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company

US announces new sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company
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The Trump administration on Monday announced new sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company, ramping up pressure on President Nicolás Maduro to give up power.

National security adviser John Bolton told reporters at the White House that the sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) will target $7 billion in assets and could result in $11 billion in lost sales over the next year.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Trump to tour Apple factory with Tim Cook on Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE described the state-owned company as a vehicle for "embezzlement and corruption," and argued the sanctions would further pressure Maduro to cede power.

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"The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela's tragic decline," Mnuchin said. "We will continue to use of our diplomatic and economic tools to support interim President Guaidó, the national assembly and the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy."

Mnuchin said he does not expect Americans to see an impact on gas prices, and that U.S. refineries will see only "modest impacts" from the sanctions.

The move comes less than a week after Trump recognized Guaidó, the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as the country's interim president.

Numerous other nations have done the same, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

The Trump administration has imposed numerous sanctions on Venezuelan businesses and those close to Maduro in recent months as the country's humanitarian and economic crises worsen, but the penalties on the oil market marked an escalation in pressure.

Asked about the prospect of further measures should Maduro cling to power, including military action, Bolton reiterated on Monday that "all options are on the table."