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US sanctions target Central Bank of Venezuela, Bolton says

White House: Trump talks to Pope Francis about Venezuela

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – National security adviser John Bolton announced Wednesday in Coral Gables that the United States will be imposing sanctions on the Central Bank of Venezuela, which he said has cemented embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Bolton said President Donald Trump's administration will be limiting U.S. transactions with the Central Bank of Venezuela to cut off Maduro's access to U.S. dollars and to warn Russia against continuing to honor arms contracts and military support. 

"The United States will use its economic tools to the maximum capacity to constrict Maduro and ensure that his cronies no longer pilfer what rightfully belongs to the people of Venezuela," Bolton wrote on Twitter after his speech. 

Bolton said recent Russian military flights to Venezuela have delivered 35 tons of unknown cargo and 100 military personnel were a threat to U.S. security.

The White House also released a statement saying Trump spoke to Pope Francis Wednesday to offer his condolences for the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and he used the opportunity to discuss "alleviating the suffering of the Venezuelan people and leading the country to a democratic transition."