U.S. considering sanctions to restrict Visa, Mastercard in Venezuela: official

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FILE PHOTO: Security staff stand next to a Visa logo at Murtala Muhammed International Airport before the arrival of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team, in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of preparations ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering imposing financial sanctions that could prohibit Visa, Mastercard and other financial institutions from processing transactions in Venezuela, a senior Trump administration said on Thursday.

The move, which has not been finalized, would be a significant ratcheting up of pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters.

“The purpose of these sanctions is to continue to deprive the illegitimate Maduro regime of access to funds and deny their ability to continue stealing from the Venezuelan people,” the official said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Leslie Adler

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