Although he did not attend, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, starred in the International Conference for Democracy in Venezuela, organized by the Lima Group today in Peru, shaking the Nicolás Maduro regime with new sanctions that freeze their properties in Washington and threaten with punishing anyone who insists on doing business with Caracas and giving some oxygen to the 'son of Chávez', including countries such as India, China or Russia.
Trump's measures seek to "increase commercial risk for anyone who has any chance of doing business in the United States, if he continues to do business with the Government of Venezuela," said John Bolton, Trump's National Security advisor, before the beginning of the conference in Lima, in which he represented Washington.
Bolton himself said that "the United States has used similar or even more aggressive tools than in Iran, North Korea and Syria." In addition, in Latin America the measure is reminiscent of the Cuban embargo or taxes in the past to Panama and Nicaragua.
Trump's message to the more than 50 countries and organizations that attended the event was clear: for the United States, the solution to the Venezuelan crisis is an immediate change of government . The executive order, in addition, bursts in while representatives of Maduro and the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, in the talks to solve the crisis of the oil country are in consultations in Caracas about the continuity of the process, which in principle was expected to resume the Thursday in Barbados, although sanctions could delay it, according to sources with direct knowledge of the negotiation.
However, although it rejected the sanctions and described them as "economic terrorism" that seeks to formalize an "economic, financial and commercial blockade on the oil country," the Maduro regime has assured that it will remain in the negotiation .
"It is clear that the United States Government and its allies are committed to the failure of political dialogue in Venezuela. They fear its results and benefits. In this sense, Venezuela will not allow this biased escalation of aggressions to affect the processes of political dialogue in the country, and confirms its unwavering will to reach national agreements, "said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza went further during a press conference: "It seems that now more than ever that dialogue is alive (...). Rain, shine or flash, there are earthquakes or in any circumstance, we will be there."
For its part, Moscow asked to lift the blockade: "Russia calls to renounce illegitimate sanctions and politically motivated barriers and restrictions," a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Nóvosti.
Guaidó, recognized as the president in charge of Venezuela by fifty countries, also said that the talks sponsored by Norway to find a solution to the economic and political crisis will continue, but reiterated that he will maintain efforts in several areas at once.
The president of Parliament has said that the executive order "goes against those who do business at the expense of the hunger of the people of Venezuela . "
Trump's executive order, which prohibits Venezuela's properties from being "transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn or otherwise negotiated," also blocks the entry into the United States of any Venezuelan who has helped the Maduro regime and threatens to expel of the international financial system to any person or company that has business with Venezuela.
"That includes any foreign entity, government, corporation, person who contributes to keep Maduro's regime in power," Bolton said.
Although the measure excludes food and medicine operations because the country is going through a complex economic crisis, with hyperinflation and shortage of all kinds of basic goods, the Maduro Government does not consider it this way: "It is false, it is only possible to buy them through transaction banks, and you can't pay because you have to use the international financial system, "said Arreaza.
" It is not an embargo against Venezuela: it is an embargo against the Maduro regime . Therefore, the order does not affect operations between private parties. In addition, it is clarified that food, health and humanitarian issues have no restrictions. the protection of the assets of Venezuela in the United States, especially Citgo, "the refiner of Venezuela in the United States that passed into the hands of Guaidó, said on Twitter for his part the attorney of Guaidó, José Ignacio Hernández.
It is not clear whether the new measures will have a significant impact since the vast majority of the Venezuelan Government's revenues are derived from oil and gold, two areas where the Maduro regime already faces heavy penalties.
" The sanctions will severely affect the Maduro Government's capacity for action , will further encircle its oil exports, including the case of companies in India that will be afraid of secondary sanctions and that represent much of the current meager exports, will minimize their operations with European companies and will cut their financial resources, sharpening the crisis and affecting the life of the Government, but also of all residents in Venezuela, "Luis Vicente León, director of the firm Datanlisis, told EL MUNDO.
Trump's executive order arises after months of efforts to get Maduro out of power, with sanctions on more than 100 organizations such as state oil company PDVSA and Venezuelan individuals, however, the president maintains the reins of Venezuela with the support of the Force Navy.
The conference began at 8:00 p.m. Spanish with the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Peru, Nestor Popolizio, to support Guaidó and the Venezuelan opposition. Organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Development Bank of Latin America and the European Union also attended and discussed issues such as immigration, the linking of the Maduro regime with terrorist groups and a recovery plan for the oil country.
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