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US slaps de facto oil ban on Venezuela

With new sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil major PDVSA, the Trump administration deals its toughest blow yet to Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, essentially blocking the country from exporting crude oil to the US.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Reuters

The Trump administration dealt its toughest blow yet to the authoritarian Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, issuing new sanctions on the nation's state-owned oil company PDVSA that effectively block his regime from exporting crude to the US.

The move ratchets up pressure on Maduro to resign and cede power to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido by cutting off the regime from the market where it gets the bulk of its cash. The US and other countries recognized Guaido last week as Venezuela's rightful president, and he said Monday he would take control of Venezuelan accounts abroad and appoint new boards to PDVSA and its Houston-based subsidiary Citgo Petroleum.

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