- The decision, approved by the foreign ministers of the bloc, brings to 55 the number of senior officials of Maduro’s executive sanctioned by the European Union.
- President Maduro has described the sanctions as great cruelty, more so in pandemic circumstances.
- The ministers of the member countries have also reached a “political agreement” to impose new sanctions against Russia.
The European Union on Monday approved new sanctions against Venezuela and added 19 officials in the government of President Nicolás Maduro to its list of people subject to restrictive measures for their role in “acts and decisions that threaten democracy” in the country after the fraudulent elections held in December.
The decision, approved by the foreign ministers of the bloc, brings to 55 the number of senior officials of Maduro’s executive sanctioned by the European Union, including the Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez.
The bloc, through a statement, said that these measures “are designed not to have adverse humanitarian effects or unintended consequences for the Venezuelan population,” and has stressed that “they can be reversed.”
Travel Bans, Frozen Assets
Of the 19 people added to the list, the foreign ministers said:
“The individuals added to the list are responsible, notably, for undermining the oppositions’ electoral rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, and for serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms.”
The list also includes the president and vice president of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, Indira Maira Alfonzo and Leonardo Enrique Morales, as well as magistrates of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, and five deputies of the National Assembly constituted on January 5 .
The sanctions include travel bans and the freezing of assets and goods they have in the European Union, as the bloc has indicated in the statement.
The bloc also reiterated its willingness to “collaborate and work with all interested parties in Venezuela to promote peaceful dialogue and a democratic and sustainable solution” to the crisis in the country.
Maduro Condemns Move
The President of Venezuela affirmed this Monday, in a virtual intervention during the opening of the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, that international sanctions prevent his country from offering a better response to the social and health crisis caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
President Maduro has described the sanctions as great cruelty, more so in pandemic circumstances. He has also promised to collaborate with the United Nations Human Rights Council, but has maintained his position of rejecting “any inquisitorial mechanism that seeks to use the cause of human rights as a political tool.”
EU Reaches Political Agreement for More Sanctions on Russia
During the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council held this Monday in Brussels, the ministers of the member countries have also reached a “political agreement” to impose new sanctions against Russia, according to diplomatic sources.
The bloc thus takes the necessary step to begin the technical works that culminate with new sanctions. This follows the case of the Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, who is currently in jail after he was arrested upon his return from Germany. Navalny had sought treatment in Germany after his alleged poisoning.