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Trump expands Venezuela sanctions to total economic embargo

Nicolas Maduro (R) President of Venezuela speaks prior a meeting with EU special adviser for Venezuela
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at a meeting with EU officials in Caracas, Venezuela, in July. Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

President Trump issued an executive order on Monday that expands existing U.S. sanctions against Venezuela to include a total economic embargo against the country.

Why it matters: The action to freeze assets places Venezuela on a par with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries now under such stringent U.S. sanctions, notes the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. The order means Americans are now banned from doing business with the Venezuelan government.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the order and further context.

Go deeper: The grand fall of Venezuelan oil