US slaps Venezuelan officials with new sanctions over Juan Guaido

Troops blocked Guaido from the National Assembly long enough for the Socialist Party to declare another man its head.

    United States-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido gestures towards the crowd while attempting to enter the building of the National Assembly of Venezuela in Caracas on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 [File: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg]
    United States-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido gestures towards the crowd while attempting to enter the building of the National Assembly of Venezuela in Caracas on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 [File: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg]

    The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan government officials. The US claims the South American legislators led a bid by Venezuelan socialist President Nicolas Maduro to wrest control of the country's congress from US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

    This month, troops blocked Guaido from entering the National Assembly of Venezuela long enough for the Socialist Party to declare allied legislator Luis Parra as its head.

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    Opposition legislators in a separate session on January 5 re-elected Guaido and later returned to the legislative palace to hold session.

    Washington blacklisted Parra and six other current or former officials "who, at the bidding of Maduro, attempted to block the democratic process in Venezuela", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

    Sanctions on the  officials prohibit their access to US financial markets, freeze any of their assets in US control, and prohibit those in the US from any transactions with those targeted.

    Other Maduro-aligned National Assembly delegates blacklisted on Monday are: Jose Noriega, Franklyn Duarte, Jose Brito, Conrado Perez, Adolfo Superlano and Negal Morales.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency