"Venezuela is in a deep political crisis under the authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Narrowly elected to a six-year term in 2013 following the death of populist President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), Maduro is deeply unpopular. The Maduro government has used the courts and security forces to repress the political opposition, a coalition known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD). [...] The United States has continued to speak out about setbacks to democracy and human rights in Venezuela, call for the release of political prisoners, express concern about the humanitarian situation, and support dialogue. The U.S. government has employed targeted sanctions against Venezuelans responsible for human rights violations, undermining democracy, and public corruption, as well as those accused of drug trafficking and terrorism. On August 25, 2017, President Trump imposed new economic sanctions through Executive Order 13808 that restrict the ability of the Venezuelan government and its state oil company to access U.S. financial markets. Broader sanctions are reportedly being considered by the Administration, but could have negative humanitarian impacts."
CRS Report for Congress, R44841
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html