US sanctions Russian bank over dealings with Venezuelan oil firm
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US sanctions Russian bank over dealings with Venezuelan oil firm

The administration of President Donald Trump has taken several measures to undermine Maduro's government and install Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as president in Caracas against the wishes of the Venezuelan people. Russia and China support the Maduro government. “This action demonstrates that the United States will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. Guaido, who heads the defunct National Assembly, pushed the country into a new political crisis in January, when he suddenly declared himself as “interim president” of Venezuela, disputing the outcome of last year’s election, in which President Maduro emerged victorious. He was recognized by the US as well as some of its Latin American and European allies. The crisis has worsened the country’s woes, including hyperinflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine. The opposition leader, who is accused in Venezuela of trying to foment a US-backed coup d’état against the Maduro government, had been banned from traveling abroad by the Supreme Court. Guaido, however, defied that travel ban and left Venezuela for meetings with the leaders of Paraguay, Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil during the past few days to build pressure on Caracas and facilitate what is claimed to be humanitarian aid delivery to Venezuelan people. The army, which has remained loyal to Maduro, however, blocked convoys of trucks from Colombia and Brazil. The Caracas government sees the humanitarian aid as part of Guaido’s Washington-backed coup plot. Maduro has thanked the country's military, saying it has defeated a "coup" led by the US administration Guaido. Speaking in Caracas on Saturday, Maduro praised Venezuela’s armed forces for staying put and referred to Guaido as "a clown and a puppet" of the United States.

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