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US oil sanctions on Venezuela would escalate crisis

As Donald Trump threatens to introduce measures against the South American nation's exports, the outcome could be ruinous for all concerned

The Trump administration is ratcheting up its rhetoric against Venezuela in a bid to derail president Nicolas Maduro's efforts to rewrite the nation's constitution. The US has already imposed sanctions on high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including vice president Tareck El Aissami and a number of supreme court justices. But in recent days the US has floated the idea of targeting the Opec producer's oil exports if Maduro presses ahead with a July 30 constituent assembly election. Maduro aims to overhaul Venezuela's 1999 constitution, which would defang his opposition and solidify his hold on power. Tough talk Whether oil sanctions are a real policy option or simply tough talk to ramp up th

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