The Trump administration imposed sanctions Monday on the state-owned oil company of Venezuela. The move is aimed increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the opposition. Mnuchin says there are a handful of U.S. refineries that had a dependence on Venezuelan oil, but they have reduced that dependence recently.
Mnuchin says he's also sure "many of our friends in the Middle East will be happy to make up the supply as we push down Venezuela's supply." Venezuelan oil exports to the U.S. have declined steadily over the years, falling particularly sharply over the past decade.
__ 3:55 p.m. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, a potentially critical economic move aimed at increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the opposition.
National security adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the measures against the company. They are also aimed at boosting Maduro's rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the administration recognized last week as Venezuela's legitimate leader. The sanctions will include a freeze on any assets the firm may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with it.