Friday, August 25, 2017

Trump Imposes 'Strong, New Sanctions' on Venezuela

The White House says President Donald Trump has signed an executive order imposing “strong, new financial sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.”

“The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech.” a White House statement said. “The regime’s decision to create an illegitimate Constituent Assembly—and most recently to have that body usurp the powers of the democratically-elected National Assembly—represents a fundamental break in Venezuela’s legitimate constitutional order.”

The statement says the new action by the U.S. “prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company. It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela.”

The White House says the U.S. reiterates its call for Venezuela to restore democracy, hold free and fair elections and release all political prisoners.

Last week, Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly gave itself the power to pass laws, seizing legislative power from the opposition-led congress.

The assembly unanimously passed a decree enabling it “to legislate on matters directly aimed at ensuring the preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic financial system, the purposes of state, and the preeminence of Venezuela’s human rights.”

The election of the assembly last month was boycotted by the opposition and triggered international condemnation. The body is charged with rewriting the country’s 1999 constitution and has given permission to President Nicolas Maduro to rule by decree.

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