Escalation of tensions causes Trump to sign executive order freezing Venezuela’s assets

 

President Donald Trump has instituted a total economic embargo on Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate, human-rights-violating socialist regime.

President Trump late Monday signed an executive order freezing all government assets and prohibiting transactions with it, unless specifically exempted, the first action of its kind against a government in the Western Hemisphere in more than 30 years,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The move places Venezuela on a par with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries currently under such stringent U.S. measures.”

It’s a notable escalation from the president’s previous actions against Maduro’s regime, which have  included sanctions on a medley of over 100 Venezuelan individuals and companies.

“The new move threatens to target and impose sanctions on virtually any company or individual, foreign or American, that engages in business or offers support to anyone affiliated with the Maduro government,” the Journal’s report continued.

While the U.S. and its allies have been imposing sanctions on Venezuela for years now, the latest sanctions have been instituted in response to the socialist country’s election crisis.

Last year Venezuela held a presidential election after which Maduro declared himself the winner. But both the nation’s National Assembly and its allies in over 60 other countries, including the U.S., have rejected this claim and named Juan Guaidó as the country’s true leader.

However, Maduro continues to refuse to accept their ruling and has been ruthless in literally crushing — as in running over — anybody who dares to protest his illegitimate rule:

The horrifying footage above was recorded in April and involved Maduro’s government security forces running into and over a crowd of Guaidó-supporting protesters.

In response to this footage going viral, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence issued Twitter statements in support of the Venezuelan people:

In a scathing letter to Congress submitted Monday alongside his executive order, Trump boldly called Maduro’s regime “illegitimate” and named “President Juan Guaido” as the nation’s true leader. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan dictator, Trump is a man whom he may not run over.

“I have determined that it is necessary to block the property of the Government of Venezuela 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 Interim President Juan Guaido of Venezuela and the democratically-elected Venezuelan National Assembly,” the president reportedly wrote.

The president has been speaking out in support of Guaido since day one, when, back in January, the Venezuelan National Assembly declared him the rightful president.

“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 at the time.

“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.”

Returning back to the order signed Monday, it specifically reads as follows:

“All property and interests in property of the government of Venezuela that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.”

It reportedly only includes exceptions for “government business and humanitarian aid,” according to UPI.

Politically speaking, while everybody on the right appears to support the president’s recognition of Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president, two Democrat presidential candidates — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Bernie Sanders — have expressed some opposition to it.

Vivek Saxena

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