Trump increases economic isolation of Venezuela after Maduro reelection

Trump increases economic isolation of Venezuela after Maduro reelection

Trump increases economic isolation of Venezuela after Maduro reelection

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a belligerent speech on Monday, threatening to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" if Iran doesn't submit to all the Trump administration's demands.

United States spokespeople claim that the measures are aimed at preventing a "firesale" of the country's assets by corrupt officials looking for kickbacks.

The 14 countries of the Lima Group - which includes Argentina, Brazil and Canada - are also refusing to recognise the election result. But, in a bit of irony, Venezuela's economy is in such awful shape, and its oil production falling so fast, that Washington might be afraid of inflicting too much pain on the South American nation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in a phone call late Tuesday on his landslide victory in the elections Sunday.

The sanctions imposed a year ago have already had a devastating effect on Venezuela's oil sector, Cardenas and Kronick pointed out. One Latin American president asked me not too long ago.

Venezuela has not had a proper United States ambassador since July 2010, after the authorities in Caracas withdrew the agreement for the appointment of Larry L. Palmer, nominated by then-President Barack Obama. Then, with sanctions, things got worse.

Perhaps these economic and humanitarian pressures, coupled with increasing outside pressure from the worldwide community, will force the Venezuelan government to give in to demands in order to rescue the country.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy decried the vote as not respecting "minimal democratic standards" and vowed to consult with European counterparts on new measures in hopes of "easing the suffering of Venezuelans".

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The EU had warned in April that it would consider further sanctions against Venezuela of its own if the elections were not fair.

Time is of the essence, because there are three powerful factors that start with the letter "M" that will benefit Venezuela's dictatorship as times goes by.

Venezuela has suffered hyperinflation, chronic shortages of food and basic goods, and a collapse of public services as the country's oil revenues plummeted amid reduced petroleum output and, until recently, low crude prices.

Mass migration will benefit Maduro, because - like in Cuba before - it will leave him with fewer mouths to feed, and results in a huge influx of dollars in family remittances. Venezuela's minimum wage at the black market rate has plunged to $3.6 a month, and growing numbers of Venezuelans are living off the money sent by their relatives in Miami, Colombia or Panama.

The second factor that will benefit the Maduro regime is misery.

"I say to the Government of Donald Trump, I say to the government of the Ku Klux Klan", Maduro declared to applause from supporters.

Venezuela's multiple creditors are considering accelerating claims on unpaid foreign debt, while oil major ConocoPhillips has been taking aggressive action in recent weeks against PDVSA, part of a claim for compensation over a 2007 nationalization of its assets in Venezuela.

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