U.S. Plans to Unveil New Round of Sanctions on Venezuela, Sources Say

BloombergThe Trump administration is planning to unveil another round of sanctions on Friday designed to punish the government of Venezuela, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The measures would be the latest in a U.S. campaign to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The people who described the move did so on condition of anonymity and declined to provide details on the sanctions that would be imposed.

One move that has been under consideration by the U.S. would block trades of Venezuelan-held dollar-denominated notes sold by the government and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state-run oil company, according to a third person familiar with the discussions, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.