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6 Aug, 2019 19:11

Bolton promises economic ruin for ‘rogue state’ Venezuela with trade embargo

Bolton promises economic ruin for ‘rogue state’ Venezuela with trade embargo

Following a failed coup plot and several new layers of US sanctions, National Security Advisor John Bolton has vowed to ruin Venezuela’s finances and cut off the ‘rogue state’ from its trade partners with ‘maximum sanctions.’

Addressing a gathering of Latin American states in Peru on Tuesday – where leaders met to discuss Venezuela’s future without representatives of the Venezuelan government or the opposition – Bolton elaborated on a new executive order issued by the president, imposing Washington’s tightest restrictions yet on foreign trade with the Venezuelan government, and freezing all of the country’s public assets.

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“The time to act is now,” Bolton told the meeting. “The United States is acting assertively to cut off Maduro financially, and accelerate a peaceful democratic transition.”

The national security advisor told the summit that Venezuela had joined the ranks of the world’s “rogue states” – alongside North Korea, Iran, and Syria, according to Bolton – adding that President Maduro was “at the end of his rope” and using talks with his political opponents as a stalling tactic.

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Bolton also promised humanitarian aid for citizens who are suffering under one of the worst economies in Venezuela’s history, and warned foreign allies of Maduro not to “double down on a bad bet,” singling out Russia by name.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry condemned President Trump’s executive order on Tuesday, slamming the move as an “a criminal economic, financial, and commercial blockade” and an “escalation of aggressions.”

The latest economic measures against Venezuela are added to a raft of sanctions imposed on the country since President Trump took office, including those targeting its oil sector, which is vital to the socialist government’s revenues. The Venezuelan opposition, led by the self-declared ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, enjoys US backing, and Washington has repeatedly stated its intention to force Maduro out of power. An attempted uprising in late April was given rhetorical support by US officials, but fizzled out after two days of demonstrations, failing to inspire mass defections from the security services.

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