U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order freezing all assets and interests of the Venezuelan government as contained within the United States, a severe escalation from recent industry sanctions and verbal rhetoric. Twenty-one exceptions are issued, for companies providing services including oil, aid, and telecommunications. The expanded sanctions are widely criticized as likely to worsen the conditions for people in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan military reports that on Friday, an American Naval reconnaissance plane entered its national airspace, threatening flights to Maiquetia Airport; the United States asserts that their aircraft was over international waters in the Caribbean on an approved mission. The US plane was followed for a prolonged time by a Venezuelan fighter.
Venezuela's Ambassador to Italy, Isaías Rodríguez, resigns, citing the government's lack of finances amid international sanctions on the Nicolás Maduro government. Rodríguez says, due to the sanctions, he has been unable to pay his staff or the rent for his office in Rome.
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces that the U.S. will be withdrawing all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela. The withdrawal follows televised remarks from Nicolás Maduro calling "colectivos" (paramilitary groups) to active resistance, and alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump masterminded the ongoing nationwide power blackout as part of a "demonic plot" to oust him, by crippling the country's electricity sector with an "electromagnetic attack".
Venezuela president Nicolás Maduro has announced new sanctions on the United States, including visa restrictions. He stated that Americans would have to obtain visas in order to enter Venezuela. Furthermore, Maduro announced that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bob Menendez, and Marco Rubio would be banned from entering the country.
In the ongoing dispute between the United States and Venezuela, the US has tried to veto a sale of Embraer airplanes to Venezuela. Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim branded the US attempted veto as "indefensible nonsense". The US recently failed to block a large sale of Spanish military equipment to Venezuela.