President Donald Trump stepped up economic pressure on Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro with an order prohibiting purchases of debts owed to the government, including to the state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.
The executive order, which covers all transactions on any debts owed to the Venezuelan government or state-owned enterprises including accounts receivable, was posted on the Treasury Department website Monday afternoon.
Trump administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the order was intended to restrict the Maduro regime’s ability to liquidate its assets and close off avenues for corruption.
The prohibition on purchases of debts owed to Venezuela specifically includes accounts receivable. One administration official said the action was intended to choke off funding the Maduro regime has been raising by selling off money owed in future to the government and state-owned enterprises in exchange for immediate payment cash.
An official said such transactions were tantamount to mortgaging the future of Venezuela.
The order prohibits the sale, transfer or pledging of collateral of any equity interest in which the Venezuelan government has a 50 percent or greater ownership interest.
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