Washington, Aug 6 (AFP/APP):President Donald Trump on Monday ordered a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the United States and barred transactions with its authorities, in Washington’s latest move against President Nicolas Maduro.
Trump took the step “in light of the continued usurpation of power by Nicolas Maduro and persons affiliated with him, as well as human rights abuses,” according to the order
The Wall Street Journal said the move was the first against a Western Hemisphere government in over 30 years, and imposes restrictions on Caracas similar to those faced by North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba.
Asked last week if he was considering a “blockade or quarantine” of Venezuela, Trump responded: “Yes, I am.”
The order affects “all property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person.”
These assets “are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in,” the order said.
The measure also bars transactions with Venezuelan authorities whose assets are blocked.
It prohibits “the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order,” as well as “the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.”
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized as interim president by the US and dozens of other countries, tweeted his approval of the move, saying it “seeks to protect Venezuelans” from Maduro’s “dictatorship.”
“Those who support it, benefiting from the hunger and pain of Venezuelans, should know that it has consequences,” Guaido said.