Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro signaled Monday that he’d seek direct talks with President Trump over his nation’s escalating political crisis; asking to speak with the Commander-in-Chief after the White House issued strict new economic penalties against his regime.
The Trump administration unveiled a new round of crippling sanctions against Venezuela’s government-owned oil industry this week; “blocking” $7 billion in energy assets as the local economy crumbles.
“Today’s designation of PDVSA will help prevent further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a White House news conference. “The path to sanctions relief for PDVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the interim president or a subsequent democratically elected government who is committed to taking concrete and meaningful actions to combat corruption.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
BREAKING NOW: President Trump Recognizes Opposition Leader as ‘Interim President’ of Venezuela
President Donald Trump officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela Wednesday; raising the stakes in the United States fierce opposition to socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
“In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant,” Trump said in a statement. “The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.”
“Shortly before Trump’s statement, Guaido said in a webcast from a protest in Caracas that he would assume the powers of the Venezuela presidency. He invoked a constitutional amendment that allows for the head of the legislature to lead a caretaker government until new elections can be held,” writes Bloomberg
Read the full report here.
PARADISE LOST: Mike Pompeo Tells World to ‘PICK A SIDE’ as Venezuela Crumbles
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on world leaders to “pick a side” on the escalating political crisis sweeping Venezuela; demanding Europe and other allies oppose socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime.
“Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. … Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” Pompeo told the UN Security Council. “We call on all members of the Security Council to support Venezuela’s democratic transition and interim President Guaido’s role.”
Pompeo’s comments come days after the Trump administration officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the ‘Interim President’ of Venezuela; sparking Maduro to expel all American diplomats from the country.
In a dramatic shift, Britain, Germany, France, and Spain gave Venezuela an eight-day deadline to hold national elections; saying their governments are prepared to join the US and recognize Guaido as the nation’s legitimate leader.
Read the full story at Reuters.