US Sanctions Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Members

 

closing rally for constituent assembly.jpg

The closing rally in the Constituent Assembly campaign in Caracas on July 27. Photo: TeleSUR.

9 August 2017
Source:  TeleSUR

The United States continues reprisals against Venezuela for holding elections for the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) on July 30 and swearing in constituent assembly members five days later. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has authorized new sanctions on six members of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly for being “involved in organizing or otherwise supporting the creation” of the ANC. Another two Venezuelan officials were also sanctioned.

RELATEDVenezuela’s Constituent Assembly to Debate Economic Measures

After United States’ sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro July 31, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin warned, “Anyone who participates in this illegitimate ANC could be exposed to future U.S. sanctions for their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela.

Elections held

The country held elections for the ANC on July 30 and swore in constituent assembly members five days later, but OFAC states, “Today’s designations consist of seven current and former officials of the Venezuelan Government and one individual who has participated in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Venezuela.”

Over eight million people voted in Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly election — a turnout of over 41 percent, according to electoral authorities — to choose from 6,120 candidates for the 545-member ANC in a vote that has been described as transparent, with international electoral experts and observers calling for respect for the results.

According to OFAC, six of the individuals belong to the Presidential Commission for the ANC or the Constituent Command 200 Zamora.

They are: Francisco Jose Ameliach Orta; Erika del Valle Farias Pena; Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas; Ramon Dario Vivas Velasco; Hermann Eduardo Escarra Malave and Adan Coromoto Chavez Frias, brother of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Tania D’Amelio Cardiet, an official of the National Electoral Council and Bladimir Humberto Lugo Armas, Commander of the Special Unit to the Federal Legislative Palace of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard were also listed. OFAC accused Armas of violence against opposition-led National Assembly members.

Munchin added, “President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country.”

As with other sanctions imposed against 13 high-level government officials and Maduro, the individual’s assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now frozen and people from the U.S. are prohibited from dealing with them.

Related:  Election meddling:US sanctions 13 Venezuela officials, warns against electing Constituent Assembly

One thought on “US Sanctions Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Members

  1. The recently announced US sanctions against President Maduro, some members of his government and members of the recently elected National Constituent Assembly or NCA are unequivocally the desperate response of US imperialism and the local right wing counterrevolution to the political and economic crisis that in many ways they have created in their efforts to dislodge the Maduro government from its constitutional power.

    It’s reasonably to assume that the sanctions on the members of the recently constituted NCA, some members of the government and President Maduro are simply vindictive as they are intended to punish these individuals and sow disaccord among them for being sovereign citizens who actively participate in the revolutionary democracy that they are building among their people in that South American country.

    What right does the US government have to impose sanctions on a sovereign d mocratically elected president whether in Venezuela or elsewhere on our blue planet?

    What right does the US government have to impose sanctions on the democratically elected members of the NCA for exercising their constitutional, political and human rights to campaign for and be elected to this democratic and representative body for peoples’ power in their country?

    Why was there no sanctions by the US government to freeze the assets that Pinochet stole from the Chilean people?

    Why was there no sanctions by the US government on the assets of all the previous Venezuelan governments before Chavez and Maduro who corruptly used the country’s oil and other resources to enrich themselves and their foreign masters?

    Indeed, it is also fair to ask, why didn’t the US government not impose sanctions on the blood thirsty and corrupt Somoza regime that raped Nicaragua’s resources including its people for nearly forty years?

    Why did the US government fail to freeze the assets of dictators it installed through coups usually against democratically elected governments throughout Latin America and the world?

    These questions are intentionally rethorical in order to contrast and underscore the hypocritical and blatantly unfair treatment of leaders like Maduro, Chavez and other independent and genuinely democratic leaders who attempt to develop models of democracy that actually give ordinary folks democratic governance over the institutions that affect their lives such as schools, police, media and other institutions.

    Frequently in the US and Western media, the spurious claim is repeated that Maduro is destroying democracy in Venezuela and that the 545 members of the NCA that were recently elected from all walks of life in the country are puppets of the Maduro regime to ensure “a power grab”for his government. That’s the fiction and the mythology that the local oligarchy and US imperialism want to create in the minds of people in the region and the world to try and discredit the electoral process in particular and the revolutionary democratic process in general that is being forged in Venezuela.

    Indeed, the elections for the members of the NCA that were held on July 30th, if anything will not give Maduro more power but instead will extend more power to ordinary folks like peasants, workers, students, business groups, indigenous people, artists and other intellectuals and other sectors from across the country. In other words, the NCA is a process that will rewrite the country’s constitution with the full and broadest participation of Venezuelans. This is the democratic process that the right wing opposition foolishly chose to boycott even though they like any other groups in the country had the protected right to participate and be elected like anyone else. Who but themselves does the right wing opposition blame for their tactical error to exclude themselves from the elections to the NCA?

    Where’s Maduro’s “power grab”in this process?

    So in closing, it should be emphasized that there is no evidence that President Maduro’s calling of the elections for the NCA is in anyway a “power grab” according to the right-wing and imperialist pundits. On the contrary, it is instead a serious attempt to foster democracy rather than dictatorship in Venezuela. Further, President Maduro has the constitutional right and power to have called those elections to the NCA. There was nothing illegitimate about his calling of those elections. When will Americans see that kind of democracy in the USA where monied interests control the “political representatives of the people” and Trump or 45 and his allies are busily doing everything to deny black people and other “minority groups” the right to vote via voter suppression legislations and gerrymandering of political districts?

    Thus, it is not Trump who should have so rudely and arrogantly said that he will talk to President Maduro when “democracy is restored in Venezuela” rather it is Maduro who should be saying that to Trump. Peace and Love!!

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