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The EU is slapping sanctions on 19 Venezuelan officials

Brussels (AP) – The European Union (EU) on Monday imposed sanctions on 19 Venezuelan officials accused of violating democracy or human rights in a crisis-stricken South American country.

EU foreign ministers targeted 19 with a freeze on assets and a travel ban “amid the deteriorating situation in Venezuela in the December 2020 elections”. The main opposition parties boycotted the polls.

This means that a total of 55 Venezuelan officials are now subject to EU sanctions.

“The individuals added to the list are responsible, in particular, for disrupting the electoral rights of the opposition և for the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, as well as for serious human rights violations and restrictions on fundamental freedoms,” the ministers said.

They said the measures were not intended to “change the unfavorable humanitarian consequences for the people of Venezuela or have unintended consequences.”

An oil-rich country, Venezuela is now mired in a deep economic crisis, with critics blaming it on two decades of failed socialist policies that bankrupted the country and destroyed its infrastructure. President Nicolas Maduro says he is being attacked by the United States, which wants to oust him.

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