Trump security adviser unveils new U.S. sanctions to pressure Cuba, Venezuela

MIAMI, April 17 (Reuters) - U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced a series of new sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela on Wednesday as the Trump administration sought to boost pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and the countries that support him.

Bolton, in a speech to an association of veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, said the United States was adding five names linked to Cuba's military and intelligence services to its sanctions blacklist, including the military-owned airline Aerogaviota.

Bolton said Washington planned new limits on remittances to Cuba and changes to end the use of transactions that allow Havana to circumvent sanctions and obtain access to hard currency. He also announced new sanctions on Venezuela's central bank to prohibit its access to U.S. dollars.

"Under this administration, we don’t throw dictators lifelines. We take them away," Bolton said.

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 13, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with government officials at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with government officials at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks with a National Guard cadet who was injured by a drone attack, at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with military high command members in Caracas, Venezuela August 11, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a campaign rally in La Guaira, Venezuela May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters during his closing campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) poses for a selfie next to his wife Cilia Flores (centre R) during an event with supporters at Plaza Bolivar square in downtown Caracas, Venezuela February 1, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with the ministers responsible for the economic sector at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro throws the ball during a softball game with ministers and military high command members at Fuerte Tiuna military base, in Caracas, Venezuela January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro show his ballot as casts his vote at a polling station during the Constituent Assembly election in Caracas, Venezuela July 30, 2017. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, CUBA - DECEMBER 03: Cuban President Raul Castro speaks with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during a memorial tribute for his brother former President of Cuba Fidel Castro at the Antonio Maceo Revoloution Square before his burial tomorow on December 3, 2016 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Mr. Castro died on November 25th at the age of 90 and the country is in the midst of a 9 day mourning period that lasts until his funeral on Sunday in Santiago de Cuba at the Cementerio�anta Ifigenia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro waves to the crowd during a motorcade after his installation in Caracas on April 19, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Luis Acosta / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Bolton's announcement of the new sanctions came just hours after the Trump administration said it was lifting a long-standing ban against U.S. citizens filing lawsuits against foreign companies that use properties seized by Cuba’s Communist government since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

The major policy shift, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could draw hundreds of thousands of legal claims worth tens of billion of dollars. It is intended to intensify pressure on Havana at a time Washington is demanding an end to Cuban support for Venezuela's Maduro.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Writing by David Alexander; editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot)

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