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U.S. sanctions Venezuela's state-owned oil company

By
Danielle Haynes
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) takes questions from reporters at the White House as national security adviser John Bolton stands by. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) takes questions from reporters at the White House as national security adviser John Bolton stands by. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions Monday on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, the latest rebuke against the Maduro regime amid rising inflation and violence in the country.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the fresh sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela, also identified by the acronym PDVSA, during a White House press briefing -- the first in more than 40 days.

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"The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela's decline," he said, adding that PDVSA has "long been a vehicle for embezzlement, for corruption."

Mnuchin said he doesn't expect the sanctions on the oil company to have an impact on the gas pumps in the United States.

The announcement came less than a week after President Donald Trump said the United States no longer recognized the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro and named National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Protests in the wake of the announcement and a coup against Maduro have left dozens of people dead.

The sanctions seek to move control over the country's oil production from Maduro to the opposition led by Guaido.

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"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," Mnuchin said.

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