US President Donald Trump has brought new sanctions against Venezuela. This time, the sanctions target the country’s gold exports, which is something that they have turned to in recent months.
The US President has signed an executive order that bans anyone in the US from doing business with companies and people involved with deceptive or corrupt gold sales from the South American nation.
The new sanctions were announced by Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton. The announcement was made during a speech in Miami. He said Cuba is helping Maduro’s government in Venezuela, bringing up the close ties the two countries have had since Hugo Chavez became president in 1999.
Donald Trump has sanctioned the South American nation in the past. The sanctions target mostly officials and people who are involved with the government. In the speech, the national security adviser also spoke about Cuba and Nicaragua. He said the US Department would add more than two dozen entities to a list of Cuban organizations involved with the country’s intelligence and military services.
Bolton criticized Nicaragua’s president for the crackdown on political opponents and said that measures are coming in the very near future. Nicaragua has seen protests since April 2018 and they have left more than 300 people dead.
Venezuela’s economic situation continues to get worse. Millions have left the country since 2015 and organizations say the inflation will get even worse next year. Maduro and other government officials blame the situation on the sanctions against the country.
In recent months, Venezuela has turned to gold as a quick way to get currency. Official Turkish data shows that the South American nation has exported 23.62 tons of gold to Turkey. The data is for the first nine months of the year.
The South American nation exported no gold in the same period last year. The gold exports continue to be a small percentage when compared to the oil sector. Venezuela heavily relies on oil, with more than 90 percent of the revenue coming from it. The Trump administration has stayed away from sanctions against its oil sector but reports have said that they have considered the idea.
Venezuela was one of the richest countries in Latin America just a few years ago. The South American nation has seen a rapid decline in its economy, with its currency pretty much becoming worthless in a few years. The government has announced several measures and changes but the inflation continues to reach record levels.
The new economic plan introduced by the government just a few months ago appears to have had little effect. The prices continue to change in a matter of days or even hours. The minimum salary is barely enough for Venezuelans to purchase one or two items at the supermarket.
The situation has forced millions to flee the country. Thousands have fled to Florida and other parts of the US. South American nations such as Colombia, Chile and Argentina have taken in hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans in recent years. The government says the numbers are not correct and that they are much less. Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez recently said that migration levels are normal. Other officials have said that the migration crisis is staged.