Bolton: 'This a time for action' against Maduro

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 6, 2019 - Duration: 01:23s

Bolton: 'This a time for action' against Maduro

During a news conference in Peru, President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday called for tougher international action against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after Washington froze his government's assets in a sharp escalation of its pressure on the leftist leader.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


Bolton: 'This a time for action' against Maduro

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday that tough new U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would choke off his international financing and warned Russia not to provide Venezuela with further support.

Addressing a summit on Venezuela in the Peruvian capital Lima, Bolton stressed that U.S. authorities can now target and sanction anyone, including foreigners, who supports Maduro's government.

"We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution," Bolton said, .

Bolton called for tougher international action against Maduro, whom he accused of only pretending to engage in negotiations with the opposition to buy himself time.

"The time for dialog is over.

Now is the time for action," Bolton said.

"Maduro is at the end of his rope," Bolton said, warning Russia not to provide him with further support.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday that freezes the assets of the Venezuelan government and bans any transactions with it, an act that could ensnare its dealings with Russia and China as well as with Western companies.

It was the first U.S. asset freeze against an entire government in the Western Hemisphere in more than thirty years and gave U.S. authorities unprecedented powers over finances tied to the Caribbean nation.

Trump resorted to the asset freeze after successive rounds of sanctions failed to dislodge Maduro or peel away his military's backing for him.

Bolton, one of the Trump administration's most influential hawks on Venezuela, warned Maduro ally Russia against doubling down on its "bad bet," and urged China to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate leader if it wanted to recoup debt owed by Caracas.

Bolton said the U.S. government would ensure that Maduro ran out of ways to finance himself and he warned that a new government in Venezuela might not want to honor agreements made with countries that helped Maduro hang onto power.

Bolton had told Peruvian officials in private on Monday that the measure would have the effect of about tripling current sanctions related to Venezuela, a Peruvian government source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It could also inflame the U.S.-China trade war if it hits Beijing hard, with Venezuela owing China oil deliveries as repayment for loans through 2021, said Fernando Cutz, a former top aide to Trump on the National Security Council.

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