Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro insisted Sunday the military is on his side as he watched military exercises using Russian-built rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft machine guns. Rick Scott, R-Fla., speaks to the media after their meeting with President Donald Trump about Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, at the White House in Washington.
After adding that the United States has the right to defend "our national security in cases where it's threatened", he reiterated that "the United States always retains the right, always, anywhere in the world, in any instance, to protect its national security, so I'm not going to justify military intervention because I don't know who is calling for that". Bolton urged Venezuela's military to accept a peaceful transfer of power to Guaido. He said Citgo assets in the United States will be allowed to continue to operate - provided that any funds that would otherwise go to the state-owned oil company be sent to a blocked account in the United States. He has accused the USA and Guaido of plotting to overthrow him.
The Treasury secretary added that in the "short term" he expects "modest" impact on US refineries.
The small number of USA diplomats in Venezuela, he said, "will remain and comfortably continue their lives with the protection we will provide for them".
The government has yet to comment on the report but socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello on Monday tried to turn the tables on Guaido, saying his security was now in the hands of the U.S. Embassy. The sanctions will include a freeze on any assets the firm may have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with it.
"We have been attacked since [former President Hugo] Chavez's death", he said, stressing things has gone worse during the Trump Administration.
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By the time this system exits we should see storm totals from 7 to 13 inches but it will be hard to measure due to the wind. Dangerously cold conditions are possible Wednesday morning with wind chills now forecast to range from -15 to -25 degrees.
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We try to give him freedom but we are also trying to be an organised team, defensively and offensively but especially defensively. It is exactly the same questions as when I came over here and it is the same questions we pose for players who come over here.
US Senator Marco Rubio, a vocal critic of Maduro who has called for such sanctions, welcomed the move even before it was announced.
Despite the guarantees, the head of Venezuela's armed forces says he still supports Maduro.
Venezuela was once a Latin American success story and has the world's largest oil reserves, but has been driven into the ground during years of hardline leftist rule.
"Australia calls for a transition to democracy in Venezuela as soon as possible". He praised US efforts to "support the restoration of democracy in Venezuela" but said "there are more questions than answers about the administration's strategy".
PDVSA has been moving away from dollar-denominated transactions in the past couple of years, since the Trump administration announced financial sanctions in August 2017.
He said oil supplies were sufficient to ensure no significant impact on U.S. gas prices in the short term and that the U.S. Treasury Department would issue temporary licenses to permit some transactions with PDVSA. The country sends 41 percent of its oil exports to the U.S. Critically, U.S. refiners are among the few customers that pay cash to Venezuela for its oil.