Washington (AP) - The US wants to move Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with even more drastic measures than before to a retreat.
In addition to the already existing sanctions against individual Venezuelans and government agencies, US President Donald Trump had on Monday (local time) with immediate effect now also free assets of the Maduro government in the US freeze.
This step is necessary because of the continued usurpation of power on the part of Maduro and his environment, it says, inter alia, in the presidential decree. It also accuses the Maduro government of violating human rights and restricting democracy in the South American oil country. At first, it was unclear what size the assets of the Maduro government in the US could have.
In Peru's capital, Lima, Trump's security adviser John Bolton wants to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela today (Tuesday) with representatives from more than 50 countries. They all support Maduro challenger Juan Guaidó, who appointed himself interim president in January and has since fought for power with the socialist president.
Guaidó denies Maduro legitimacy as head of state because his reelection last year did not meet democratic standards. Numerous countries, including the USA and Germany, have recognized Guaidó as the rightful transitional president. In Venezuela itself Guaidó but so far could not prevail. Above all, the powerful military continues to hold Maduro, as do Russia and China.
The US government is trying to force Maduro to retreat - mainly through economic sanctions against him and his environment. So far, these efforts are going nowhere. Maduro accuses Guaidó of planning a coup against his socialist government with the help of the United States.
"I'm looking forward to a productive day in Lima, Peru," Bolton wrote on Twitter on Monday with a view to the International Conference on Democracy in Venezuela on Tuesday. There will be discussions with regional states on security, democracy and prosperity.
Trump himself had said several times in the past few months that all options were on the table, including military action, basically, in view of the political crisis in Venezuela. In Peru, it is about a peaceful way out of the crisis.
In addition to the political crisis, Venezuela is suffering from devastating economic problems: under Maduro, who was elected president in 2013 after the death of his mentor Hugo Chávez, inflation reached unprecedented proportions. Many everyday goods are in short supply. Several million people left the country in the face of the crisis.
John Bolton on Twitter