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The Trump administration intensified its interference in politically-fractured Venezuela on Monday by announcing the seizure of billions of dollars in assets connected to the nation’s state-owned oil company, a move critics decried as part of a “dangerous” U.S. policy to help opposition forcesoverthrowelected president Nicolás Maduro.

National Security AdviserJohn Boltonand Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinannouncedthe sanctions imposed viaexecutive orderagainst Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA)—a primary source of income and foreign currency for the country—at a White Housepress briefingon Monday afternoon. They were joined by Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council.

Mnuchin vowed the United States “will continue to use all of our diplomatic and economic tools” to back Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself Venezuela’s “interim president.” The secretary made clear that “the path to sanctions relief for PdVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the interim…

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