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Pence to announce new Venezuela sanctions in speech on Monday: aide

11 May 2018

The United States has asked the countries of the Western Hemisphere to suspend Venezuela from the 35-nation Organization of American States.

US Vice President Mike Pence Monday called Venezuela's May 20 presidential election "a fraud and a sham", indicating the Trump administration may be preparing to use the elections as a trigger for new oil sanctions to pressure the Maduro regime.

Pence also urged Maduro to "open Venezuela to worldwide aid, and do it now".

Maduro's government has been printing money as foreign reserves dwindle, and the national currency, the bolivar, has become almost worthless.

In his speech at the OAS, Pence also called for restricting Venezuelan leadership's access to financial instruments on the territories of OAS member states, introducing visa restrictions against "Venezuela's corrupt leaders" and for holding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro "accountable for destroying Venezuela's democracy". It also denies there is a humanitarian crisis.

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"We want to leave".

A Pence aide said they expect the Venezuelan delegation to walk out during his speech.

Moncada also argued the USA aims to "stop the May 20 elections in Venezuela", through new sanctions and diplomatic aggression, and accused the US of committing an global crime. The president also insisted that each university should build a mining farm for cryptocurrencies, as this will significantly improve the South American country's economy.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said Pedro Luis Martin Olivares was indicted in 2015 by a grand jury in Florida for willfully conspiring to distribute a controlled substance into the United States and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance on board an aircraft registered in the United States.

OFAC further designated 20 companies, 16 based in Venezuela and four in Panama, that were owned or controlled by the three men and allegedly used to launder illicit proceeds from narcotics trafficking and extortion.

Pence to announce new Venezuela sanctions in speech on Monday: aide