HAVANA TIMES – The European Union renewed sanctions targeting the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for a further year on Monday, in an effort to encourage a democratic resolution to the Latin American country’s deep political and economic crisis.
Venezuela is in the throes of a violent power struggle between Maduro’s government and the opposition, led by Juan Guaido.
Maduro has the backing of China, Russia, Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, while the latter is supported by a number of Latin American and European nations as well as the United States.
The political crisis has plunged the oil-rich country into severe economic shortage, triggering a humanitarian disaster. An estimated 4.5 million people have so far left Venezuela.
The EU sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes on 25 officials responsible for human rights violations or for undermining democracy and the rule of law, as well as a prohibition on the export of weapons and equipment that could be used against civil society, according to the EU.
The measures were introduced in 2017.
EU foreign ministers decided to extend the sanctions in light of “persistent actions undermining democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights” in Venezuela, according to a statement.
They now remain in place until November 14, 2020.