State Dept. gave Venezuelan interim president control of Venezuelan assets in US accounts

State Dept. gave Venezuelan interim president control of Venezuelan assets in US accounts
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The State Department announced Tuesday that it has granted Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó the right to take control of his country's assets currently held in U.S. banks.

The New York Times reports that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: There's 'no indication' Iran will change direction Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump confirms he authorized Rand Paul to negotiate with Iran MORE initially made the decision to give Guaidó accesson Friday, but the information was not released until Tuesday.

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“This certification will help Venezuela’s legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people,” Robert Palladino, a State Department spokesman, told the Times.

According to the Times, the order specifically referred to Venezuelan holdings in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, though it applied to any of the country's financial interests in the states.

The Trump administration has moved to support Guaidó, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an attempt to oust the country's current president, Nicholas Maduro, earlier this month. Maduro's re-election was declared illegitimate by the U.S.

“Let me reiterate — there will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaidó," national security adviser John Bolton said this week.

The U.S. and some Western allies support the interim government, while Maduro maintains support from some including the country's Supreme Court and other countries including Turkey, a NATO ally of the U.S.