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Canada looking closely at USA freeze of Venezuelan government assets

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President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One in Morristown N.J. Sunday Aug. 4 2019

His speech came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that freezes the assets of the Venezuelan government and bans any transactions with it, an act that could ensnare its dealings with Russian Federation and China as well as with Western companies.

"How much is the US government willing to spend in diplomatic capital in economic costs in the United States, in order to further its Venezuela policy? said David Murray of the Washington-based firm Financial Integrity Network, an expert on sanctions compliance".

Bolton warned Russian Federation against doubling down on its support for Caracas, and urged China to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate leader if it wanted to recoup debt owed by Caracas, since a new government in Venezuela might not want to honor agreements made with countries that helped Maduro hang onto power.

Washington also frowns at ongoing attempts to undermine Interim President Juan Guaido and the democratically elected Venezuelan National Assembly.

USA national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday said Washington was ready to impose sanctions on any worldwide company doing business with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a sharp escalation of US pressure on the leftist leader.

Bolton also promised humanitarian aid for citizens who are suffering under one of the worst economies in Venezuela's history, and warned foreign allies of Maduro not to "double down on a bad bet", singling out Russian Federation by name. As such, it places Venezuela on par with adversaries such as Cuba, Syria, Iran and North Korea, who have also come under strident United States measures. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who's also expected to attend the meeting in Peru, last week outlined plans to rebuild Venezuela's financial institutions and infrastructure.

Trump ordered to freeze all assets belonging to the Venezuelan government in the United States.

The ban blocks American companies and individuals from doing business with Maduro's government and its top supporters.

But on Tuesday the White House was emphatic: The "dictatorship must end for Venezuela to have a stable, democratic, and prosperous future". Yet it's unclear whether countries with closer relations with Caracas - including China and Russian Federation - will follow suit, potentially dulling the full impact of the new measures on the Venezuelan government.

The conference is being attended by representatives from more than 50 nations that recognise Mr Guaido as Venezuela's president and consider Mr Maduro's re-election previous year to be fraudulent.

Previous sanctions have targeted dozens of Venezuelan government insiders as well as the South American nation's oil industry, the source of nearly all of its export earnings.

Francisco Rodriguez, Torino Capital chief economist, said Trump's order essentially formalized a "a de facto ban on transactions between USA persons and the Venezuelan government".

Guaido and his allies have repeatedly argued that China and Russian Federation are more likely to collect on their loans to Venezuela with Maduro out of office.

The Venezuelan economy has collapsed under Maduro, with inflation reaching 130,060 per cent a year ago and shortages of food and medicines driving millions of people overseas, scattered across the Americas and other continents.

Bolton added that Washington is opposed to new elections in Venezuela while Maduro remains in power because his government could manipulate the electoral system in his favor.

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