05:55 GMT +310 December 2019
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    US Sanctions Freeze Billions in Venezuelan Assets, Violate International Law - Minister

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    AMMAN (Sputnik) - Venezuela has lost access to foreign assets worth billions due to unilateral US sanctions, including hydrocarbon holdings, Tourism and Foreign Trade Minister Felix Plasencia told Sputnik.

    "Billions of dollars [that] our people own has been affected by unilateral coercive measures taken by the government of the US, violating the international law and trying to impose unilateral decisions on free and sovereign state," he said.

    The US administration intensified efforts to topple the Venezuelan government this year by imposing economic sanctions that US officials said were designed to exacerbate the nation’s already acute economic crisis.

    "We have been affected by the impossibility to move our assets… We have property, like an oil company in the US frozen, it has been taken from us," the minister pointed out.

    Since the beginning of this year, the US has been imposing a range of sanctions against Venezuela in order to force President Nicolas Maduro out of office. The sanctions are mainly targeting the country's oil trade that makes a large part of Venezuela's economy. In January, the US Treasury piled sanctions onto Texas-based refiner Citgo, which belongs to Venezuelan state-run energy giant Petroleum of Venezuela, prompting the facility to reduce ties with the parent company. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused Washington of trying to steal Citgo.

    Besides the sanctions on the oil trade, the US administration announced in August tough new measures against the Maduro government, ordering to freeze all Venezuelan government assets in the US and ban transactions with the authorities.   

    Tags:
    international law, assets, sanctions, Venezuela
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