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U.S. to push to isolate Venezuela until Maduro leaves power

U.S. to push to isolate Venezuela until Maduro leaves power

Specifically, Pence declared Maduro is not allowing Venezuela's May 20 election to be a free and fair one.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyNikki Haley says she won't defend Trump's "communication style" Pompeo, Haley mark World Press Freedom Day GOP House candidate: Transgender people have "an issue with mental illness" MORE called on Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro to step down on Tuesday, labeling the South American nation's upcoming election a "sham".

Haley said that the people of the South American country are "unwilling victims of a criminal narco-state, " and that the May 20 elections in which Maduro is seeking reelection will be fraudulent if independent observers are absent. "Hold real elections. Give the people of Venezuela real choices because the Venezuelan people deserve to live in democracy once again", he said.

"We believe it is time to do more, much more", Pence said in an address to the OAS in Washington.

Pence also decried Maduro's refusal to accept global aid even as the economic crisis endangers Venezuelans.

Of the newly sanctioned companies, 16 are based in Venezuela and four in Panama. Maduro asked a crowd in a rally on Tuesday in southern Amazonas state, condemning the USA president and vice president for sanctions on his government.

The funding announcement comes roughly a month after Vice President Pence announced that the USA would provide almost $16 million in humanitarian aid for Venezuelans who have fled a deepening economic and political crisis in the country. The U.S. State Department has said not all political parties have agreed to the elections, limiting the ability of individuals to run.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Pedro Luis Martin Olivares, a former top intelligence official, and his associates Walter Alexander Del Nogal Marquez and Mario Antonio Rodriguez Espinoza have been designated "narcotics kingpins" owing to their activity in the drug trade.

Oil prices rose to their highest levels since late 2014 on Monday, boosted by fresh troubles for Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] and a looming decision on whether the United States will reimpose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.


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