Monday, 24 September, 2018


U.S. unveils fresh Venezuela sanctions, targets 10 officials

Bennie Garza | 09 November, 2017, 23:44

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanction against 10 current or former Venezuelan government officials, who it said "are associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela".

The new sanctions come as European Union member states prepare to impose an arms embargo on Venezuela, whose leftist government has sought to tighten its grip on power amid a prolonged economic and political crisis that has led to deadly street clashes.

Things are so dire in oil-rich Venezuela that people line up to buy not just food and medicine but basics like soap and toilet paper.

The latest sanctions against Venezuela were introduced by US President Donald Trump's executive order in August, aiming at putting financial pressure on the government led by Maduro.

They are the fifth round of US sanctions this year as President Donald Trump seeks to ramp up pressure on Maduro and his government. Those elections were marred by irregularities "that strongly suggest fraud helped the ruling party unexpectedly win a majority of governorships", it said.

They added that it was not immediately evident when bondholders would receive the funds or which bank was the recipient bank for the funds.

They include Sandra Oblitas Ruzza, the vice president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council; Elvis Eduardo Hidrobo Amoroso, the Second Vice President of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly; and Venezuelan envoy Julian Isaias Rodriguez Diaz, who the Treasury listed as the former vice president of the assembly.

The United States in June announced sanctions on 13 current and former Venezuelan government officials.

"Any restructuring effort will be greatly complicated by the August sanctions that bar any U.S. regulated financial institution from dealing in new debt issued by the Venezuelan government or PDVSA", Croft said.

Rodriguez Diaz, for instance, who used to be second vice president of the Constituent Assembly, signed a decree forcing newly-elected governors to take the oath of office before that body, the USA statement said.

The Venezuelan government had promised that sanctioned officials would not attend Monday's meeting, said a local finance industry source with knowledge of the preparations.

According to the aide, the sanctions against the top members of the Venezuelan government are linked to human rights abuses and corruption, the report said.

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