USA imposes sanctions against Venezuela as president refuses to step down

USA imposes sanctions against Venezuela as president refuses to step down

New U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil giant not only place more pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's regime, but also on some U.S. refiners that rely on crude imports from the country.

Venezuela's attorney general, Tarek Saab, has asked the country's supreme court to open a preliminary investigation against self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó, and to freeze the opposition leader's accounts.

The move comes after the United States earlier said it has handed control of Venezuela's USA bank accounts to Guaido, to prevent President Nicolas Maduro from commandeering them in an eventual exit from power.

The moves were aimed at intensifying pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, who was re-elected past year in a contest widely seen as fraudulent.

The United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay have officially acknowledged Guaido as the legitimate interim head of Venezuela, while countries including Russian Federation and China back Maduro.

Maduro said he wants peace, but also announced more military games for February.

The two now live outside Venezuela, but claim to be in communication with hundreds of soldiers now serving under Maduro who are willing defectors.

More news: Arsenal agree terms with long term Manchester United transfer target

PDVSA responded to the sanctions by ordering customers with tankers waiting to load crude destined for the United States to prepay, according to three sources with knowledge of the decision. "We are waiting for you and the commitment you have to our constitution", Guaido said at a Sunday news conference.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin shares the view of the Venezuelan government that the sanctions are "illegal" and sees them as a tool of unfair competition on part of the United States. Brent crude futures surged 2.9% to $61.7 per barrel Tuesday morning on the news, while West Texas Intermediate futures rose 3.4% to $53.9 per barrel.

The handwritten note was displayed "in full view of reporters", according to USA Today, drawing questions on social media as to whether the message was truly a signal the administration is considering sending American forces in via Venezuela's neighbor, or a purposeful "leak" aimed at threatening Maduro.

The new USA sanctions could cause problems for Venezuela when it comes to servicing its sovereign debt to Russia, which stands at $3.15 billion, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told reporters on Tuesday.

But U.S. refineries that buy large amounts of Venezuelan oil could suffer.

In separate but nearly simultaneous comments, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman declined to comment when asked whether Russian Federation would send military aid if the US military gets involved in the crisis in Venezuela.

China believes that Venezuela's affairs must and can only be decided by the its own people, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

Related Articles

  • Trump blasted by social media for not understanding climate change

    Trump blasted by social media for not understanding climate change

    He tweeted , "In the handsome Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. It's not the first time the president has gotten major climate change facts wrong.
    The US Justice Department just unveiled 23 criminal charges against Huawei

    The US Justice Department just unveiled 23 criminal charges against Huawei

    Federal prosecutors insist, however, that they are simply "law enforcement actions and are wholly separate" from the negotiations. The criminal charges in Brooklyn and Seattle come as trade talks between China and the USA are scheduled for this week.
    Actor Daniel Radcliffe Calls Out Tom Brady For Supporting Donald Trump

    Actor Daniel Radcliffe Calls Out Tom Brady For Supporting Donald Trump

    The actor also made the odd statement that "the whole world is rooting against the Patriots - sorry". Trump congratulated the Patriots on making it to the Super Bowl this year on his Twitter account.
  • Pound crashes after MPs vote against delaying Brexit

    Pound crashes after MPs vote against delaying Brexit

    Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said his lawmakers would support amendments meant to "block a disastrous no-deal". Corbyn's amendment was defeated by 296 votes to 327, with MPs thought to have voted broadly along party lines.
    Anthony Davis puts in trade request

    Anthony Davis puts in trade request

    While many expected Anthony Davis to formally hit the trade block this summer, it appears to be coming a bit premature. As such, the Lakers are the "favorite" to land Davis according to these odds at +125 (5/4) and that makes sense.
    Varadkar Says Troops Could Return to Border in Botched Brexit

    Varadkar Says Troops Could Return to Border in Botched Brexit

    Mr Varadkar was speaking to Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The protest will begin at 3pm on the Old Dublin Road at Carrickcarnon in Dundalk, Co.
  • Becky Lynch Appears On WWE Raw, Picks WrestleMania 35 Opponent

    Becky Lynch Appears On WWE Raw, Picks WrestleMania 35 Opponent

    The people want to see her wrestle at that level, and frankly, that's where Bayley deserves to be. In this previous year , Bayley has been completely absent from the women's main event picture.
    U.S. Midwest braces for record-breaking cold blast

    U.S. Midwest braces for record-breaking cold blast

    Surges of cold polar air are blasting the Midwest with the lowest temperatures in years, set to last until the end of the week. A winter storm brought several inches of snow to northern IL as the region braces for record-low subzero temperatures.
    Tiger Woods couldn't buy a putt - again

    Tiger Woods couldn't buy a putt - again

    He stared down the cardboard boxes before one of the workers in the tent said "they aren't letting us serve right now". Another tiny victory: It was the first time since 2008 that Woods broke par all four rounds at Torrey Pines.
  • U.S. Economy Permanently Lost $3B From Shutdown, CBO Finds

    U.S. Economy Permanently Lost $3B From Shutdown, CBO Finds

    However, the CBO said most of the lost output "will eventually be recovered", with second-quarter growth expected to bounce back. On Friday, President Donald Trump signed legislation to reopen the government for three weeks, until February 15.
    May to meet her Conservatives to seek Brexit support

    May to meet her Conservatives to seek Brexit support

    But Mr Coveney said the backstop was needed to ensure there was no hard border in Ireland and would not be ditched by the EU. WHOSE PLAN? Dominic Grieve QC, former attorney general and ardent Remainer, and MPs who want a second referendum.
    Chelsea's Victor Moses joins Fenerbahce on 18-month loan deal

    Chelsea's Victor Moses joins Fenerbahce on 18-month loan deal

    This season, and a change of shape under Maurizio Sarri , has seen opportunities more limited for the former Nigeria global . Moses is under contract at Chelsea until the summer of 2021, but has been told he will no longer feature in Sarri's plans.