The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – Washington
The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, calling him a “dictator” following the “sham” election of a new legislative body to redraft the constitution.
All of Mr Maduro’s assets which are under US jurisdiction are now frozen and all American citizens are banned with having an economic dealings with him.
The move comes after a special referendum held in the country on Sunday to elect a new legislative body, separate from the Venezuelan parliament, the National Assembly – which has been controlled by the opposition since January 2016.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the sanctions against Mr Maduro in a brief statement on Monday, a day after the vote.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on more than a dozen senior current and former Venezuelan officials last week, warning the socialist government that new penalties would come if Mr Maduro went ahead with Sunday’s election for the assembly.
Electoral authorities claimed more than eight million people voted on Sunday to create a constitutional assembly endowing Mr Maduro’s ruling party with virtually unlimited powers, though independent analysts estimated the real turnout was less than half that figure.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, the governor of the central state of Miranda, urged Venezuelans to protest on Monday against an assembly that critics fear will effectively create a single-party state.
Mr Maduro has said the new assembly will begin to govern within a week.
He said he would use the assembly’s powers to bar opposition candidates from running in gubernatorial elections in December unless they sit with his party to negotiate an end to hostilities that have generated four months of protests that have killed at least 125 and wounded nearly 2,000.
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor’s office reported 10 deaths in new rounds of clashes on Sunday between protesters and police.
Source: The Independent