President Trump signed an executive order late Monday placing a full economic embargo on Venezuela. The embargo, aimed at ramping up pressure on President Nicolás Maduro, blocks all property and assets of the government and its officials and prohibits any transactions with them. The Trump administration also warned Russia and China that if they continue to support Maduro, they will lose billions of dollars in loans and investments they’ve given to Venezuela. The only other countries under a similar full embargo are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Monday night, Trump said the freezing of assets was necessary “in light of the continued usurpation of power by the illegitimate Nicolas Maduro regime, as well as the regime’s human-rights abuses, arbitrary arrest and detention of Venezuelan citizens, curtailment of free press, and ongoing attempts to undermine” Juan Guaidó, whom the Trump administration recognizes as Venezuela’s interim president.
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