Venezuela Expels US Envoys in Response to Sanctions

23 May, 2018, 19:10 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • US venezuela

The Trump administration slapped new sanctions on the Maduro regime on Monday, barring US companies or citizens from buying debt from the Venezuelan government, PDVSA or the Venezuelan central bank.

A State Department official told AFP that Washington had "not received notification from the Venezuelan government through diplomatic channels", but that if the expulsion goes ahead, "the United States may take appropriate reciprocal action".

Despite widespread discontent over Venezuela's economic collapse, most opposition parties chose to boycott the election after officials blocked their most popular leaders from competing against Maduro.

The main opposition candidate, Henri Falcón, officially won 21.2%.

"The revolution is here to stay!"

As the results were being announced, residents of downtown Caracas banged pots in protest just a few blocks from where Maduro supporters were celebrating. Falcon accused the government of dirty tricks, including buying votes of poor voters who have been hurt by widespread food shortages and hyperinflation in what was once Latin America's wealthiest nation. Sanctions also give support to a pro-Maduro narrative that the directly responsible for most of Venezuela's problems. It called Washington's move as part of "a systematic campaign of aggression" by USA administration and said they had no legal base.

Vice President Mike Pence said that the elections were "neither free nor fair".

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken with Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro over the phone and congratulated him over his presidential election victory, according to Turkish presidential sources.

On Monday, President Donald Trump Monday tightened sanctions against Caracas, making it harder for the Maduro regime to sell off state assets.

Browne said: "I look forward to working with you and expanding our cooperation in projects related to development for the mutual benefit of both peoples".

The executive order prohibits USA citizens from being involved in sales of Venezuela's pending invoices related to oil and other assets, though Vielma said shipments of fuel and crude to the United States would continue.

"We alert the worldwide community to the threat to world peace represented by the supremacist, racist and interventionist regime that governs Washington today, inspired by the nefarious postulates of the Ku Klux Klan", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The US has not had an ambassador to Venezuela since 2010, but Robinson served as the mission's Chargé D'Affaires - a position that is akin to an acting ambassadorship. Maduro has counted on the support of China and Russian Federation, which have provided billions of dollars in funding in recent years. The South American country uses mostly US diluents to reduce the viscosity of its heavy oils, and would have to pay much more to get them elsewhere. The group deplored Venezuela's "grave humanitarian situation".



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