The trump administration moved to place more sanctions on Venezuela on Friday. Their claim is that by doing so, they are pressuring Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro from turning the country into a dictatorship as he seizes more power through parliament. The administration already placed sanctions on Maduro in late July when he replaced the opposition in parliament with pro-Maduro lawmakers in what he referred to as the Constituent Assembly.

The national Congress was originally elected in 2015 but because the Venezuelan Supreme Court is pro-Maduro, they have rejected every law passed by the opposition Congress. Since the Constituent Assembly was put together, they have targeted the nation's outspoken prosecutor and other members of the opposition to be removed or jailed for speaking out against President Maduro.

Sanctions and Venezuela's economy

The sanctions from July attempted to target the Venezuelan president's access to his finances in the U.S. and banning U.S. businesses from making any deals with him. Sanctions have also targeted up to 30 members of the Venezuelan government, and in the latest efforts, the sanctions are targeting issues with the Latin American nation's access to new debts and equity. This in itself would prove to further stress the nation's economy as they have been working to pay off their debts in recent years. But it's been reported that they have also borrowed from China and Russia recently.

No military option

The new sanctions would also put more sway on the view that Venezuela is under military threat by President Trump. In early August, Trump decided that with his military threats against North Korea, he would go ahead and threaten Venezuela as well, which got a lot of push back from countries in the region.

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Especially since military threats were not even an option and had not been run by the U.S. Defense Department. But more specifically, several countries that surround Venezuela are already pressuring Maduro in not recognizing the power of his new Constituent Assembly.

Maduro says that his new assembly was put together in order to form a new constitution which he claims "will bring peace" to the country. But the region feels that with the U.S stressing Venezuela even more than it will only lead to further collapse of the system. The sanctions also ban business dealings with Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA. But even with this being the case, the U.S. is still dealing with oil exports from the country. This also points to the threats made by Marco Rubio to also ban oil exports which provides for over 70 percent of Venezuela's revenue.