US stepping up measures to topple Maduro

The Trump administration says the US will step up economic measures against Venezuela in a bid to drive President Nicolas Maduro from power a day after Caracas severed diplomatic ties with Washington.

The Treasury Department issued a statement Friday, saying the US will use “its economic and diplomatic tools” to ensure that any commercial sales by Venezuela are consistent with Washington’s recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state.

“The United States will use its economic and diplomatic tools to ensure that commercial transactions by the Venezuelan government, including those involving its state-owned enterprises and international reserves, are consistent with this recognition,” said the statement.

The department, however, did not say there will be any freeze on Venezuela’s US assets and accounts.

Maduro has censured US President Donald Trump for seeking to orchestrate a coup against his…

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