HAVANA TIMES – The United States on Monday slapped sanctions on seven people, all Venezuelan lawmakers or current or former government officials, accusing them of trying to illegitimately seize control of the National Assembly from the opposition, reported dpa news.
The Treasury Department announced the sanctions eight days after security forces prevented opposition leader Juan Guaido and about 100 opposition lawmakers from entering parliament.
Legislators supportive of President Nicolas Maduro elected Luis Parra speaker of parliament, while the opposition elected Guaido, who had presided over parliament since January 2019.
The US announced sanctions on Parra and six others.
“Treasury has designated seven corrupt National Assembly officials who, at the bidding of Maduro, attempted to block the democratic process in Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The statement did not give details on the sanctions, which were imposed by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Maduro won a second term in a virtually unopposed election, widely considered fraudulent, in 2018 and has overseen a massive economic crisis that prompted millions of Venezuelans to leave the country.
Guaido declared himself interim president nearly a year ago. Dozens of countries recognized him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, but he has been unable to oust Maduro, who has the support of the army.