The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has certified that Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido has authority to take control of bank accounts that Venezuela’s government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or any other U.S.-insured banks.
Pompeo said Tuesday the certification will “help Venezuela’s legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.”
Guaido heads the opposition-controlled National Assembly and has proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president. He has been recognized as the nation’s rightful leader by two dozen nations that contend re-election of socialist President Nicolas Maduro was not legitimate, partly because his strongest opponents were barred from running.
The U.S. is hitting Venezuela’s state-owned oil company with sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on Maduro to leave office.