Following escalated tension between the United States of American (USA) and Venezuelan, President Donald Trump has revealed that the US would expand its existing sanctions against Venezuela with an executive order banning Americans doing business with President Nicolas Maduro's government.
It has been established that the executive order would freeze assets of the government of Venezuela and associated entities and prohibits economic transactions with it unless specifically exempted. Exemptions include the official business of the federal government and transactions related to the provision of humanitarian aid.
It further marks an escalation from the already expansive US measures against the Venezuelan government since the start of the country's chaotic political and economic crisis earlier this year.
In a letter to Congress outlining the action Monday night, Trump said, "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."
Recall that Venezuela's political turmoil stems from presidential elections last year wherein Maduro secured another six-year term in a process widely viewed as a sham.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself as acting president earlier this year.
With several nations such as China and Russia declaring support for Maduro in the wake of the election, Trump has been a vocal champion for Guaido.
US sanctions already in place on Venezuela's national oil company have helped to accelerate collapse in the country's oil output, sending ripples into the global energy market.