U.S. Issues Embargo on Venezuela ❌

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Trump takes action

On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order that froze all Venezuelan assets. An attempt to force Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro out of office, the near-total embargo (sparing the private sector) is an escalation from already extensive U.S. measures against the country, and it is similar to the restrictions placed on Syria, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.

The outcome

The attempt to deny Maduro access to the global financial system has resulted in Venezuelan Bitcoin prices surging to all time highs. Further, concern has been raised regarding how the embargo may impact Venezuela’s ability to repay its debts to Russia and China, and the potential reaction from the two nations.


FOR SANCTIONS:

Bloomberg: Trump Imposes New Curbs On Venezuela In Bid to Pressure Maduro

Fox News: Trump Freezes Venezuelan Government Assets Amid Tensions

Support of the embargo view the United States’ actions as necessary pressure to place on Maduro. They highlight his corruption and their desire for leadership from Juan Guaidó, viewing the recent measure as another step in encouraging the government shift.

AGAINST SANCTIONS:

The Guardian: ‘It Will Not Work’: Experts Question Venezuela Sanctions As Bolton Touts Them

Sputnik News: Moscow Views Blockade of Venezuela’s State Assets by the US as Economic Terrorism

Opposition to the sanctions has been expressed from particularly Russia, China, Cuba and Iran. These nations are pessimistic that the embargoes, which seek to undermine Maduro, will legitimatize opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s declaration of presidential power. Other sources argue that the sanctions will worsen the nation's humanitarian crisis. 


Where's the common ground?

At present, the conflict in Venezuela remains contentious: the U.S. government continues to back Guaidó as the country’s leader, despite Maduro’s refusal to relinquish power. However, as the economic and hunger crisis continues to directly impact Venezuelan citizens, both sides are ultimately aiming for political calm in the country. 

An unfortunate reality

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