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Trump hits Venezuela with new sanctions as U.S. steps up pressure on Maduro

The Trump administration stepped up its pressure on Venezuela’s socialist leader Monday, hitting the country’s state-owned oil company with sanctions and calling on other countries to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim leader.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said the sanctions will block $ 7 billion in assets for the oil company “to prevent the further diversion of Venezuela’s assets” by President Nicolas Maduro.

President Trump last week officially recognized Mr. Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said the country is “in a state of collapse” and called on the Venezuelan military to cooperate in a peaceful transfer of power to Mr. Guaido. He also urged other nations to recognize the opposition leader.

“Now is the time to stand for democracy and prosperity in Venezuela,” Mr. Bolton said.

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