Trump freezes Venezuela gov’t assets in escalation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has frozen all Venezuelan government assets in a significant escalation of tensions with socialist leader Nicolás Maduro.

The ban on Americans doing business with Venezuela’s government takes effect immediately. An executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Monday cited Maduro’s continued “usurpation” of power and human rights abuses by those loyal to him.

The order falls short of an outright trade embargo but represents the most crippling U.S. efforts to remove Maduro since the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader in January.

Previous sanctions have targeted Venezuela’s oil industry, the source of most of the country’s export revenue.

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