US sanctions 8 Venezuelan Supreme Court judges

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 20, 2017

A demonstrator holds a Venezuelan flag during a vigil for the victims of the clashes with the government's security forces, during protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Protesters are demanding elections to kick out the socialist government that they accuse of wrecking the economy and turning Venezuela into a dictatorship.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuela's chief judge and seven other members of the country's Supreme Court as punishment for seizing powers from the opposition-led congress earlier this year.

Almost two months of street protests throughout Venezuela have left at least 46 people dead.

The US has imposed new sanctions on Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights abuses.

Opposition supporters clash with riot security forces while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thu., May 18, 2017. "By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country".

She said in a statement ahead of Wednesday's closed-door meeting that Venezuela is "on the verge of humanitarian crisis", with medicine unavailable, hospitals lacking supplies and people facing difficulty finding food.

The sanctions freeze any assets the country's most powerful judicial figures may have in USA jurisdictions and lock them out of much of global banking.

"It has been unbelievably poorly run for a long period of time, and hopefully that will change and they could use those assets for the good and to take care of their people", he said.

A protester demonstrates against the Venezuelan government outside the Organization of American States during a special meeting in April.

That action, which was later reversed in the face of worldwide criticism and street protests, was one of a half-dozen rulings by the court that USA officials say "interfere with or limit the National Assembly's authority".

Speaking alongside Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday, Trump expressed dismay at Venezuela's crisis, asking how a country holding the nation's largest oil reserves could be stricken by so much poverty and turmoil. The US treasury has put eight supreme court members on a financial blacklist.

Another sanctioned magistrate, Calixto Ortega, is a long-time diplomat who was sent by Maduro in 2014 to Aruba to negotiate the release of a retired army general who had been arrested on a USA drug warrant.

The Treasury cited recent Supreme Court rulings that have allowed Maduro to rule by executive decree, exempted the government from submitting its budget to the legislature, and taken away from the legislature the power to appoint the National Electoral Council. It said the National Assembly was in contempt.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez decried the US sanctions on Twitter as "outrageous and unacceptable".

In March, the court stripped parliamentary immunity from members of the National Assembly and moved to assume legislative powers for itself.

The new sanctions come as Maduro is facing increasing pressure at home and overseas to hold elections. More than 40 people have been killed in nearly two months of unrest in Venezuela. Marco Rubio of Florida, the main congressional backer of Trump's hardened stance toward Maduro, said of the sanctions.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE