From the Document: "For over 15 years, the United States has imposed sanctions in response to activities of the Venezuelan government and Venezuelan individuals. The earliest sanctions imposed related to Venezuela's lack of cooperation on antidrug and counterterrorism efforts. The Obama Administration imposed targeted sanctions against individuals for human rights abuses, corruption, and antidemocratic actions. The Trump Administration significantly expanded economic sanctions in response to the increasing authoritarianism of President Nicolás Maduro (in power since 2013). In January 2019, the United States recognized Juan Guaidó, president of the democratically elected, opposition-led National Assembly, as interim president. The Trump Administration then imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PdVSA), central bank, and government to pressure Maduro to leave power. As of January 22, 2021, the Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on roughly 166 Venezuelan or Venezuelan-connected individuals and the State Department had revoked the visas of more than 1,000 individuals and their families. Despite these and other measures, Maduro remains firmly in power, and his party now controls a de facto National Assembly seated on January 5, 2021. Some analysts have urged the incoming Biden Administration to maintain all sanctions to pressure Maduro into negotiations with the opposition. Others have suggested the removal of broad sanctions that have hurt the Venezuelan people without hastening Maduro's departure; they urge a renewed focus on targeted sanctions implemented in coordination with U.S. allies."
CRS In Focus, IF10715
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/