US to slap ‘very significant’ sanctions on Venezuela
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US to slap ‘very significant’ sanctions on Venezuela

Elliott Abrams, the US special envoy for Venezuela, said at a press briefing in the US State Department on Tuesday that the sanctions would target financial institutions doing business with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The US special envoy told reporters that Washington was also preparing to withdraw more US visas from Venezuelan officials with close ties to the 56-year-old socialist leader. Abrams said Washington was in talks with other countries about security arrangements for the US Embassy after it recalled remaining diplomats from the Latin American country. Caracas had ordered American diplomats to leave Venezuela within 72 hours. The United States has already imposed numerous rounds of sanctions against Venezuela following the recent political developments in the country. Venezuela has been shaken by political unrest in the past several months. In January, tensions worsened after opposition figure Juan Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela. US President Donald Trump immediately recognized that self-proclamation. Ever since, the US has been escalating tensions against oil-rich Venezuela, and has not ruled out the military option to take out Maduro’s government. The Venezuelan military has reaffirmed its support for Maduro despite the US threats. The Venezuelan opposition blames Maduro for an ailing economy, hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of basic items, urging him to resign. Maduro accuses the opposition of seeking to stage a coup d’état with help from the US.

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