US President Donald Trump seized all assets of the Venezuelan authorities in the United States on Monday, strongly exacerbating a campaign of economic and diplomatic tension targeting on ousting socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.
An order signed by Trump goes far beyond the limitations introduced in recent months against the Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA and the country's financial sector, as well as steps against dozens of Venezuelan officials and organizations.
Trump's action, the hardest, but against Maduro, both prohibits US firms from doing business with the Venezuelan authorities and opens the door to potential sanctions against foreign firms or individuals that help them.
Russian and Chinese firms are among those who still conduct important business in the South American country OPEC.
The scale of the proclamation was a complete astonishment even to some Trump administration allies.
The United States and most Western countries pushed Maduro to resign and recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legal president.
Guaido, blamed by Maduro of organizing a coup try in the United States, appointed the board of directors of Citgo Petroleum, Venezuela's most important foreign asset, at the beginning of this year.
On Thursday, Trump announced that he was determining quarantine or blockade of Venezuela, nevertheless, at that time he did not specify when and how such a barricade would be introduced.
China and Russia - along with Cuba - kept supporting Maduro, provoking US National Security Advisor John Bolton to warn Beijing and Moscow on Monday that they would not double their assist.
Bolton will deliver a speech on Tuesday morning at a meeting of over 50 countries in Lima, Peru, which will draw the US intended leadership to bring about a calm transfer of power in Venezuela.