US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Washington is considering oil sanctions against Venezuela, in a bid to put further pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
“This is under study, it’s under consideration,” Tillerson said during a press briefing in the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires on Sunday night.
Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves, has been struggling with a worsening economic situation during the past years.
Government critics blame Maduro, who rose to power after the late Hugo Chavez in 2013, for the once-prosperous country’s faltering economy and have urged him to step down.
Venezuela’s all-powerful Constitutional Assembly ordered the government last month to hold early presidential election by the end of April.
Tillerson claimed Sunday that the oil bans were necessary because Venezuela’s upcoming presidential election was tilted in favor of the current administration.