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US adds 2 companies, 34 vessels to Venezuela sanctions list

US Vice President Mike Pence announced sanctions Friday on 34 vessels of Venezuela's state oil company as Washington pushes to oust President Nicolas Maduro. "Those looking on should know this: All options are on the table. And Nicolas Maduro would do well not to test the resolve of the United States of America," Pence said in a speech at Rice University in Houston.

The United States has added two oil-sector companies and 34 vessels to a sanctions list aimed at forcing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

A Treasury Department announcement says the companies and vessels are being used to ship fuel to Cuba or in other aspects of the oil industry and help support the Maduro government.

"Those looking on should know this: All options are on the table. And Nicolas Maduro would do well not to test the resolve of the United States of America," Pence said in a speech at Rice University in Houston.

The U.S. and about 50 other countries say Maduro's re-election last year was not legitimate and have recognized the head of the National Assembly as the interim president of Venezuela.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry in January to cut off the government's most important source of revenue.

The designation of the companies and ships Friday bars U.S. citizens or entities from any financial transactions involving them.

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