Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Trump administration announces new Venezuela sanctions

Published:Friday | March 22, 2019 | 12:00 AM
From left, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, and President Donald Trump sit together during a meeting with Caribbean leaders at Mar-A Lago, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday announced additional sanctions for Venezuela in response to what it describes as the illegal arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s chief of staff.

The Treasury Department announcement came while President Donald Trump met with leaders from five Caribbean nations, where Venezuela was at the top of the agenda.

The department is specifically targeting Venezuela’s national development bank, BANDES, and four additional subsidiaries that BANDES owns or controls.

The U.S. had already sanctioned scores of top Venezuelan officials and has blocked U.S. banks from doing business with that country, imposing a financial stranglehold on the cash-strapped nation.

IN PHOTO: President Donald Trump, right, meets with Caribbean leaders at Mar-A Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. From left are Saint Lucia's Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet, Haiti President Jovenel Moise, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. 

Trump is hosting the leaders of Jamaica, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and St Lucia at his Mar-a-Lago club to show his support for Caribbean countries that back democratic transition in Venezuela.

The five have either denounced Maduro or joined more than 50 countries in recognising Juan Guaido as the rightful interim leader of the nation.

Trump told the leaders as the meeting kicked off that he would be “discussing ways that we can be beneficial to you and you can be beneficial to us.”

The Trump administration considers Maduro’s government a dictatorship and says he was re-elected in an illegitimate election.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump will use the meeting to thank the leaders for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela and discuss potential opportunities for energy investment.

Nations in the Caribbean, however, have been split on whether to interfere in Venezuela.

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