Venezuela's chief prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court to place a travel ban on self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, as well to freeze the opposition leader's accounts.
National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted another warning to Maduro against intimidating Guaido or the National Assembly, saying it would be "a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response". In turn, Russia, Cuba, China, Turkey and Iran have reaffirmed its support for Maduro as the legitimately elected head of state.
But he says the expected shortage of heavy crude supply in the USA will likely increase prices throughout the North American market, including in Canada.
But the PDVSA could avoid the sanctions - by recognising Guaido as Venezuela's leader. Maduro, sworn in on January 10 for a second term after disputed elections previous year, accuses Guaido of staging a US -directed coup against him.
The U.S. government's decision to impose sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company appears to be, in essence, a ban on selling the country's crude to the U.S - and potentially across the world.
Until now, President Donald Trump had held off on targeting Venezuela's vital oil sector. The kind of crude that Venezuela exports, known as heavy-sour, is now scarce due to voluntary cuts in OPEC and Canadian output and the impact of American sanctions on Iran.More news: New Orleans City Council Aims at the National Football League and Roger Goodell
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the new sanctions "violate all possible global norms" and show a course toward regime change in embattled Venezuela.
The Kremlin condemned the sanctions as illegal interference, while China said they would lead to suffering for which Washington would bear responsibility.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told members of the U.N. Security Council Saturday to "pick a side" in Venezuela.
The poll, conducted by Hinterlaces in early January 2019, found that "86 percent of Venezuelans would disagree with worldwide military intervention".
He did not outline any specific steps in support of Maduro's government.
The loss of revenue from the United States, the No. 1 buyer of Venezuelan crude, was sure to further hamper the government's ability to import basic goods like food and medicine, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that has prompted more than 3 million people to flee the hyperinflation-stricken country in recent years.