U.S. hands bank accounts to Venezuela's Guaido

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The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA on Monday in the latest effort to ramp up pressure on the country's President Nicolas Maduro.

The President of Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly Juan Guaido will announce new boards of directors for state oil company PDVSA and its us business, Citgo, UPI reports, citing a statement from the opposition leader.

The group has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, saying President Nicolas Maduro's continuing dictatorial rule is creating an economic and humanitarian crisis that has swelled beyond his country's borders.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday certified that Guaido has authority to take control of bank accounts that Venezuela's government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of NY or any other U.S. -insured banks.

The measures triggered higher global oil prices, angry responses from China and Russian Federation and the first serious moves against Guaido since he challenged Maduro's claim on the presidency last week.

The announcement Tuesday was the latest in a succession of moves created to steer power and resources to Guaido in the days since President Donald Trump declared President Nicolas Maduro's rule illegitimate and said the US was now recognizing Guaido as interim leader. He noted the sanctions wouldn't affect oil already purchased that is being shipped, and said he didn't expect USA gas prices to rise.

Top officials in the Trump administration - including the president himself - say "all options are on the table" as speculation swirls over whether the U.S.is planning to take military action in the embattled country.

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U.S. President Donald Trump assailed Maduro in a letter to Congress explaining an executive order he issued sanctioning PDVSA and Venezuela's central bank.

Maduro has accused the USA of leading an open coup against him to exploit Venezuela's oil reserves, the largest in the world.

As of Monday, all PDVSA assets and property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, according to a Treasury statement, and USA citizens and companies are generally prohibited from doing business with the Venezuelan firm.

In Geneva, senior US and Venezuelan diplomats traded jibes at a disarmament conference.

"Sanctions on Venezuela will lead to the deterioration of conditions of people's lives", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing in Beijing.

PDVSA's US-based subsidiary Citgo will be able to continue operations, as long as its earnings are deposited into a blocked account in the United States.

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