WASHINGTON — The Trump administration slapped financial sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday after a weekend election that gave the South American country’s ruling party virtually unlimited powers.
The sanctions freeze any assets Maduro may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with him. They were outlined in a brief notice by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ahead of a White House announcement from President Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
McMaster described the election, which creates a constituent assembly that will rewrite Venezuela’s constitution, as an “outrageous seizure of absolute power” that “represents a very serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere.”
“Maduro is not just a bad leader, he is now a dictator,” McMaster said. The monetary impact of the sanctions wasn’t immediately clear as Maduro’s holdings in U.S. jurisdictions, if he has any, weren’t publicized.