CARACAS, Venezuela – Analysts say the Venezuelan government decision to plow ahead with presidential elections amid a deepening crisis risks spurring international sanctions targeting the country's oil exports.
Opposition politicians are weighing Thursday whether to boycott the snap election set for April 22. Several foreign nations have already vowed not to recognize it.
Announcement of the vote date came during a tour of Latin America by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who favors further sanctions aimed at weakening Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Tillerson has suggested they might target crucial Venezuelan oil shipments to the U.S.
London-based analyst Diego Moya-Ocampos says such sanctions could undermine Maduro's support among the military by reducing resources available to it.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza says Venezuela will not bend to imperialist pressure.