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US hits Venezuela with new sanctions on state-run mining company

US hits Venezuela with new sanctions on state-run mining company
The US has imposed new sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run mining company Minerven and Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, who heads the company, according to a statement posted by the US Treasury Department.

The sanctions are part of Washington's ongoing efforts to squeeze the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who the White House has claimed is an "illegitimate" leader.

US President Donald Trump declared support for right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido as "interim president" in mid-January, prompting many US allies to immediately follow suit.

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The US has been steadily tightening sanctions and economic pressure on Maduro's government and openly calling for regime change.

In a statement, the Treasury Department said it was targeting "the illicit gold operations that have continued to prop up the illegitimate regime" of "former" president Maduro.

The statement goes on to detail harmful environmental effects of mining in Venezuela, although it's unlikely the environment is a sincere concern for regime change advocates in the White House. Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton has admitted that one of the major motivations behind the US's Venezuela policy is to get access to the country's vast oil reserves for American companies.

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