Venezuelan Bonds Up After New US Sanctions Spare Debt Trading

26 August, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Essie Rivera
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The U.S. imposed its first economic penalties against Venezuela on Friday, hitting the South American country's financial sector in an attempt to starve President Nicolás Maduro's government of cash.

The order also permits the Treasury Department to help finance humanitarian aid for Venezuela citizens.

Maduro said earlier this week that Venezuela is prepared for any USA sanctions and that the Trump administration is trying to create a "financial blockade" against the South American nation.

President Donald Trump sanctioned Venezuela on Friday after a democractic and humanitarian crisis developed in the nation under President Nicolas Maduro, seen here August 22.

The White House said the measures were "carefully calibrated" to put financial pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump's measure prohibits U.S. citizens or companies from buying new bonds and bonds from the Venezuelan state and from the oil company.

Maduro's moves come after the nearly 90% drop in profits at Petroleos de Venezuela SA previous year amid declining output and a drop in oil prices. Until now, the United States has taken care to target individuals within Venezuela's evolving dictatorship. Several prominent opposition mayors have also been removed or ordered arrested by the government-stacked supreme court.

Friday's financial bans are the fifth round of U.S. sanctions to hit Venezuela since the start of the year.

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The measures to be announced on Friday would come days after Vice President Mike Pence met with Venezuelan exiles in Florida.

Maduro, who is among some 30 senior officials already barred from the United States, has been warning for weeks that the Trump administration was readying a "commercial, oil and financial blockade" in the mold of the one that has punished Cuba for decades.

"I'm not going to rule out a military option", Trump said.

"Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they're dying", Trump said.

Venezuela, he said, has never had militaristic or interventionist intentions unlike the "imperialist powers" that "use a world map in their meetings to plan the use of force against nations posessing vital resources".

But with Venezuela's streets calmer than they have been for months, and the opposition still reeling from its failure to prevent the constitutional assembly from going forward, action from increasingly concerned worldwide community represents the best chance of reining in Maduro, he added. Since 2014, the country's economy has shrunk by more than a third.

In July S&P Global Ratings lowered Venezuela's sovereign debt ratings, warning of the risk of default.

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