This post was last updated on February 26th, 2019 at 02:06 pm
The US government could announce new sanctions to put even more pressure on the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro. The move could come as early as next week, if Maduro’s government doesn’t let in the planned humanitarian aid to enter the nation in the coming weekend, an administration official said on Friday.
US Vice President, Mike Pence is scheduled to meet other leaders in the Western Hemisphere in Bogota on Monday. Therefore, Maduro’s next move could trigger the US to take an even serious step against the nation.
The US imposed oil-sanctions on Venezuela on January 28, after claiming that the regime has bankrupted Venezuela and forced millions into poverty. Besides, stating that the autocratic reign of Maduro is a threat to the US interests and regional stability.
“If there is any type of violence, or if there is any type of negative reaction from the hierarchy of the Venezuela armed forces, there may also be measures that are announced by the vice president and other countries in regards to closing even further the international financial circle,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, cancelled his weekend trip to South Korea, signaling the importance of the issue to the White House. Bolton’s trip to South Korea was also crucial to the US interests as Trump meets the North Korean leader for nuclear talks next week.
The Vice President will lead the delegation to the meeting of the Lima Group regional bloc, and so far has an “open script” for what he will propose, the official stated.
“He has the carrots, but he’s also ready with the sticks for those that promote or execute violence,” the official said. “That will be announced not only by the United States, but by the rest of the region’s democracies.”
The United States on the plea of the opposition leader, Juan Guaido has stockpiled aid on Colombia’s border with Venezuela. However, Maduro has denied there is a crisis in his country. In fact, his government has denounced the move and has called aid operation a ‘Trojan horse invasion’ by the United States.
On the other hand, with tensions rising violence too has risen in the region. Witnesses reported on Friday that US soldiers killed two people and injured 15 others near the border with Brazil.
Venezuela is a nation that relies on the world’s largest known oil reserves. However, gasoline shortages in the nation are so bad that lines can stretch up to a mile. Therefore, with oil-sanctions in place now, the economy is expected to underperform and continue collapsing. Also, with the humanitarian aid not reaching the needy, the US sanctions may be aimed in the right direction, but they are certainly not helping the commoners in their day-to-day life.
Therefore, before the US decides to impose new sanctions it must reconsider the already prevailing conditions in Venezuela.