Mike Pence says Venezuelan President ‘must go’

Mike Pence says Venezuelan President ‘must go’

Mike Pence says Venezuelan President ‘must go’

"We're imposing sanctions on more than 150 government officials and organizations that are loyal to the dictator in Caracas", Pence noted.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that sanctions imposed by Washington on ships transporting Venezuelan crude to Cuba target Havana's role in propping the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Separately, OFAC identified 34 vessels as blocked property of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), which was designated on January 28, 2019, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. It is the registered owner of the Despina Andrianna, which has been used in recent weeks to ship Venezuelan crude to Cuba.

"The United States will continue to exert all diplomatic and economic pressure to bring about a peaceful transition to democracy", he said.

The U.S. and about 50 other countries say Maduro's re-election past year was not legitimate and have recognized the head of the National Assembly as the interim president of Venezuela. "Cuba's influence has driven Venezuela's failure, and the time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba".

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Venezuela has seen a political divide between supporters of Guaido and embattled President Maduro, who was elected to power following elections. Pence reported a few of their relatives were at Houston Friday at his speech.

The action is the latest by the United States as it tries to squeeze revenue from the cash-strapped leftist government, which has nonetheless held onto power and enjoys backing from China and Russian Federation.

Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuelan native and Latin American energy expert at Rice, said many expatriates had hoped that Pence would deliver a plan to get the Venezuelan military to stop supporting Maduro.

Pence also hinted that President Donald Trump's administration will take further action against Cuba as it considers allowing exiles to sue over property seized by the communist authorities.

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