Santiago de Chile, Mar 21 (EFE) – The United States and Chile today coordinated joint positions on the situation in Venezuela, and discussed the application of new sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump, focused on “solving this humanitarian crisis.”
“Our common goal is that Venezuelans have freedom and resources. Our sanctions are not directed at people, but focus on getting humanitarian aid to people,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is visiting Chile, told reporters.
The US official arrived in the South American country after participating in a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-20, in Buenos Aires, where he announced that his country “is considering more sanctions” against Venezuela.
Now in Santiago, he added that the US is in talks with EU representatives regarding “the application of sanctions in coordination with ours…I think it’s very important to have a united front,” the secretary emphasized.
Mnuchin was received this Wednesday at the Palacio de La Moneda, the Chilean version of the White House, by president Sebastián Piñera, and finance minister, Felipe Larraín, to talk about Venezuela, US-Chilean cooperation, bilateral exchange, and investments.
“What is happening in the sister Republic of Venezuela is a humanitarian crisis, which is compromising the lives of Venezuelans,” Piñera said in a joint appearance before the press.
Minister Larraín, meanwhile, said the meeting was marked by “cooperation with Venezuela, aid, but also sanctions that do not harm the Venezuelan people, but those who now control the country and take it down a non-democratic path.”
The Chilean minister asserted that this matter will continue to be a key discussion topic during the meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund next month in Washington, which will be attended by several finance ministers of the region.
“Our vision is common: be prepared to support freedom, democracy, and progress in Venezuela, and be prepared to help the Venezuelan people, if necessary, materially,” said Larraín on the issues addressed at the G-20 summit, which was attended by representatives of the European Union and Japan, among others.
Trump signed a decree on Monday that prohibits Americans from buying the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency, the petro, arguing that the digital currency would be used as a means to evade sanctions, according to the White House.
Trump is currently evaluating imposing restrictions on the oil sector, with the aim of putting pressure on the government of Nicolás Maduro.
The United States has also said that the Venezuelan elections of May 20 will not change its strategy.
Mnuchin will hold a bilateral meeting in Santiago with Minister Larraín and later a meeting with a group of businessmen, before returning to the United States.