US issues fresh Venezuela-related sanctions after VP Pence affirms Washington’s support for Guaido

Monday, February 25, 2019
By Paul Martin
25 Feb, 2019

The US has announced a fresh round of Venezuela-related sanctions, adding four new individuals to a list of people already subject to Washington’s restrictions.

Former Venezuelan vice president Ramon Carrizales and former minister of defense Jorge Garcia Carneiro have both been added to the list, along with Socialist Party politicians Rafael Lacava and Omar Prieto.

The new sanctions come as relations between Washington and Caracas continue to deteriorate over the US’ decision to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela, and repeated calls by top American officials for current President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

The sanctions were announced by the Department of the Treasury as US Vice President Mike Pence attended a meeting of the regional Lima Group of nations in Colombia, where he is expected to announce further punitive measures against Maduro’s government on Monday.

Pence told Guaido at the summit that the US is behind him “100 percent.” Hours earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza blasted US actions on Monday and blamed the country’s economic problems on the US financial blockade and economic warfare. Maduro has repeatedly accused America of trying to foment a coup against him.

Pence also announced other restrictions in coming days. “As of today the US will impose additional new sanctions on regimes officials, including three border state governors linked to the weekend violence,” he said.

Top Venezuelan figures already under US restrictions include Vice President Delcy Rodrigues, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, and Maduro’s wife Cilia Adela Flores de Maduro.

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