(BBC) – President Donald Trump has imposed sweeping sanctions on the Venezuelan government, freezing its assets in the US and barring transactions with it.
This measure is expected to be far more damaging for Venezuela’s socialist government than previous sanctions.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton said the new sanctions could be imposed on “anyone who supports” Mr Maduro’s government.
The new measures, he added, would force countries and companies to choose between doing business with the US or with Venezuela.
America would use “every tool to end Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela”, he said.
The move really ramps up the pressure on President Maduro by not only targeting his government’s assets in the US but also the individuals, companies and countries doing business with his government.
It means that Venezuela will face many of the US restrictions on Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.
It goes much further than previous US sanctions which targeted Venezuelan leaders, including President Maduro himself, and specific state-run entities such as oil company PDVSA, Venezuela’s central bank and its development bank.