President Trump yesterday signed an executive order imposing additional sanctions on the Venezuelan government. The order, “Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela,” blocks all property and interests in property of the Venezuelan government within the jurisdiction of the United States. It authorizes the secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the secretary of State, to block all property and interests in property of the persons who have been determined to have “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of” the Venezuelan government, or any person acting directly or indirectly for it. This action also restricts the entry of sanctioned persons into the United States.
As support for this action, Trump’s order referenced the “continued usurpation of power by Nicolas Maduro and persons affiliated with him, as well as human rights abuses, including arbitrary or unlawful arrest and detention of Venezuelan citizens, interference with freedom of expression, including for members of the media, and ongoing attempts to undermine Interim President Juan Guaidó and the Venezuelan National Assembly’s exercise of legitimate authority in Venezuela.” In a statement released today, the White House noted that “[t]his Executive Order directly targets those who undermine either the democratically elected National Assembly of Venezuela or Interim President Juan Guaidó.”