The United States on Monday announced sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 companies with ties to socialist President Nicolas Maduro for narcotics trafficking, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence calling for more nations to increase pressure on Caracas.
The new sanctions continue a pattern of stepped-up U.S. measures on individuals connected to Maduro, who is blamed by President Donald Trump’s administration for a deep recession and hyperinflation that have caused food shortages in Venezuela and sent a exodus of migrants into neighboring countries.
The individuals sanctioned on Monday are fairly low-profile and the move is unlikely to create major economic hardship.
Trump has been considering but has so far opted not to impose sanctions on a Venezuelan oil services company and on insurance coverage for tankers carrying Venezuelan oil. Those measures are still under consideration, though, one administration official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.