The US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has promised tighter sanctions including "regional travel restrictions and visa denials against several dozen Maduro regime officials," at a press conference in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Abrams denounced the Maduro government for "stealing money from the program that provides food for the poorest Venezuelans. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to no-bid and overvalued contracts that the treasury called 'profiting from starvation.' And the regime uses those food programmes for control of the people." As a result, the treasury department sanctioned three stepsons of Nicolas Maduro in July. Aid from the US amounted to $650mil (€591mil).
The envoy defended the decision to support oil giant Chevron and a "number of service companies," in efforts to make it easier for "them to help in the recovery of oil production after the regime is replaced and there's a return to democracy."
Abrams accused Maduro of siphoning off funds for "resources available to the regime," resulting in a food and medicine shortage.