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Following a move last week from the US Congress to ratchet up sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran, the White House is now considering doing the same with Venezuela, following a controversial election to overhaul the country’s constitution.

The country has been racked with violent unrest in opposition to an unpopular president who has presided over a disastrous economic crisis.

No final decision on the sanctions — which would target the country’s vital oil sector — has been made, but White House officials cited by Reuters do not expect them to include a ban on oil imports to the US.