Trump administration announces sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil industry

Trump administration announces sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil industry

The Trump administration already rolled out sanctions past year created to prevent the country from restructuring or issuing new debt and Mnuchin announced at Monday's White House press briefing announced new sanctions against Maduro, who the USA has accused of human rights abuses, in an attempt to block his assets.

"Any violence and intimidation against USA diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guiado [sic], or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response", Bolton warned in a tweet on Sunday.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido called Sunday for two new protests, in an effort to push the military to turn against elected President Nicolas Maduro and back a European ultimatum demanding a new round of elections within the week.

On Wednesday, following mass demonstrations throughout the country, Gauido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, announced Maduro as illegitimate and declared himself as the interim president.

Guaido is asking for help in getting control of the Venezuelan government's offshore assets.

Following the ultimatum on Saturday, Mr Maduro told CNN Turk that "no one can give us an ultimatum".

Venezuela is very reliant on the US for its oil revenue.

Guaido's bid was swiftly endorsed by Canada, the United States and many Latin American countries.

Meantime, Maduro called for unity and said he wants to see the military grow "more loyal to the people, more loyal to the revolution, more loyal to the country and more loyal to the constitution".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro oversaw a display of the army's Russian hardware on Sunday, with anti-aircraft flak and tank rounds pounding a hillside to show military force and loyalty.

Secret North Korean missile site found, report says
In return, North Korea has imported diesel, petroleum, flour, soybean oil, sugar, and vehicle and motorcycle parts from China. President Trump meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at the start of their U.S.

The Trump administration had long held off on targeting Venezuela's vital oil sector for fear that it would hurt USA refiners and raise oil prices for Americans.

Spain, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Germany have said they plan to recognize Guaido as interim president unless Maduro calls elections within eight days.

He contends that Maduro's reelection to a second six-year term was fraudulent.

In the interview with CNN Turk, Maduro accused the U.S. of mounting a coup attempt against him - a regular refrain - and insisted Guaido was "violating the constitution".

This weekend, Guaido's supporters maintained a united front from NY and Brussels to the streets of Caracas, and the country's military attache in Washington declared allegiance to the newcomer.

Guaido took a symbolic oath of office Wednesday proclaiming himself the nation's constitutional leader on grounds that Maduro's re-election past year was fraudulent - an allegation supported by the USA, the European Union and many other nations.

Meanwhile, Juan Guaido said in a statement on Monday that he had ordered Venezuela's congress to begin the process of naming new boards of directors to the PDVSA and USA refining subsidiary Citgo.

The American Petroleum Institute reported that a number of records were broken in the energy industry of the United States in December, including gasoline demand, crude oil production, and crude oil exports.

Both Russia and China are major creditors of Venezuela.