The U.S. sanctions are just the latest move by the Trump administration to pressure Maduro to step down.

Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced previous sanctions on PDVSA in late January, just days after Trump rejected Maduro’s most recent election as illegitimate and threw his support behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly who has declared himself “interim president.”

Last week, as Guaidó ramped up efforts to oust Maduro, the Venezuelan government barred the opposition leader from holding public office for 15 years.

Maduro has remained in power despite calls from some Venezuelans, the Trump White House, and about 50 other countries for him to turn over the government to Guaidó.

Members of the Trump administration—including Pence, in a tweet on Friday—have repeatedly threatened that “all options are on the table,” including foreign military intervention, to force Maduro out.

Both opponents and supporters of Maduro took to the streets of Caracas on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported, for “the latest rival rallies to be held in the capital amid a protracted political crisis and rising anger over blackouts that have left millions without electricity and water.”

Maduro and other critics of the Trump administration’s push for regime change in Venezuela charge that the U.S. economic sanctions are “strangling” the South American country and exacerbating its humanitarian crisis.

“Trump is strangling Venezuela with sanctions—and it’s not working,” Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, wrote in his column for The Boston Globe in March.

“As these sanctions escalate, the lives of ordinary Venezuelans become steadily worse,” Kinzer explained. “Food and medicine are in short supply, inflation is raging, and living standards have collapsed. Government corruption and mismanagement fuel this freefall, but fiats from Washington have decisively accelerated it.”

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