Bogota, Feb 26 : Visiting US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday announced new economic and diplomatic sanctions against Venezuelan officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro.
During a meeting in Bogota of the Lima Group, a Latin American bloc aligned with Washington and its push to unseat Maduro, Pence said the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on four Venezuelan governors for their pro-government stance. A statement from the US Treasury Department accused the governors of being "involved in endemic corruption and in blocking the delivery of critical humanitarian aid."
On Saturday, trucks which were said to be carrying US humanitarian aid attempted to enter Venezuela from neighboring Colombia and Brazil with the help of anti-government protesters, leading to isolated clashes. Venezuelan authorities believed the aid effort was a cover up for a military intervention and had closed key border crossings.
More financial sanctions were coming, Pence said, calling on US regional partners to help choke off Venezuela's access to financing by freezing or blocking assets belonging to state oil company PDVSA.
As the Lima Group convened in Bogota, Maduro posted on Twitter that "we will resolve (internal problems) together as a nation, with the Bolivarian government I preside." Referring to the United States and its allies, Maduro added, "the empire and its lackeys should understand that in Venezuela self-determination rules." XINHUA