The United States targets Venezuela’s national development bank and its subsidiaries, part of US-led efforts to oust the democratically elected President in Venezuela.

Iran Press/America: The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on Friday announced to impose sanctions on BANDES, a state-owned bank, and four affiliates over their support for President Maduro, Bloomberg reported.

The companies sanctioned are BANDES, Banco Bandes Uruguay, Banco Bicentenario del Pueblos, Banco Universal SA Banco de Venezuela, and Banco Prodem SA, of Bolivia.

"All property and interests in property of these entities, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by this entity, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC," the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) statement said.

"Maduro and his enablers have distorted the original purpose of the bank, which was founded to help the economic and social wellbeing of the Venezuelan people, as part of a desperate attempt to hold onto power," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

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"Roberto Marrero and other political prisoners must be released immediately," Mnuchin stressed.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said that "BANDES bank is to Venezuela's financial sector what PDVSA is to its oil sector. This action will severely affect any attempted currency movements by Maduro and his cronies moving forward. Do not test the resolve of this Administration."

On January, US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a press conference to announce that the US had blocked all assets of Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA under its jurisdiction and banned deals with the firm.

The administration of Donald Trump has taken several measures to undermine Maduro's government and install Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as president in Caracas against the wishes of the Venezuelan people. Russia and China support the Maduro government. 103/209

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