The US Treasury Department on Wednesday slapped sanctions on 13 current and former senior officials of the Venezuelan government amid political turmoil in the South American country. The Venezuelan officials were blacklisted for their association with the election of the controversial National Constituent Assembly (ANC) and their government’s “rampant violence against opposition protesters and its corruption,” Xinhua quoted the US Treasury Department, as saying. All assets of these individuals subject to US jurisdiction are frozen and US persons are prohibited from dealing with them.
The sanctions come ahead of the planned July 30 election of the ANC that the US Treasury Department said “will have the power to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution and may choose to dissolve Venezuelan state institutions.” “As our sanctions demonstrate, the US is standing by the Venezuelan people in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was quoted as saying.
“Anyone elected to the National Constituent Assembly should know that their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela could expose them to potential US sanctions,” he added. Last week, US President Donald Trump threatened to “take strong and swift economic actions” against Venezuela’s government if Venezuela goes ahead to pursue the creation of the ANC.