Donald Trump Urges European Leaders to Sanction Venezuela

Trump made the comments from a joint press conference at the White House with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Mariano Rajoy and Donald Trump
Mariano Rajoy and Donald Trump

Bogota, September 27, 2017 ( – US President Donald Trump urged European leaders to apply sanctions against the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro Tuesday in a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House.

The two world leaders had previously sustained a meeting focussing principally on counter-terrorism efforts and North Korea, according to press reports.

“We hope our friends in the EU will soon follow the United States, Canada and many Latin American nations in sanctioning the Maduro regime. We need everybody involved,” said Trump.

“The citizens of Venezuela have endured immense suffering, poverty, starvation, and dangerous political unrest under Maduro’s oppressive socialist regime,” he continued.

For his part, Rajoy told press that Venezuela’s current political situation was “unacceptable” and that the country was under “anti-democratic rule”.

The joint press conference comes just a day after the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro published his fourth report on Venezuela and urged the international community to pursue “increasingly severe” sanctions against the country.

Washington imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela in August, while Canada followed suit with travel bans and asset freezes targeting top officials last week. On Sunday, Trump added Venezuelan officials to his controversial travel ban list along with North Korea and Chad.

Members of the European Union also voted to consider the possibility of organization-wide sanctions mid-September, though nothing official has been approved to date.

At the beginning of the month, Venezuelan opposition leader and President of the country’s National Assembly Julio Borges travelled to Europe where he met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The tour was widely touted in the Venezuelan press as an attempt to secure a commitment to sanctions against the Maduro administration from European leaders.

No Latin American countries have passed sanctions against Venezuela to date.