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.

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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

ALBA expresses solidarity with Venezuela; opposes US destabilization attempts

The ALBA statement notes that sanctions violate international law and are part of a strategy of regime change.

alba leaders 2015Venezuela received further backing from Latin American and Caribbean nations against the new U.S. sanctions Tuesday with a statement from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

The statement follows the recent backing from the 120-country Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR.

In a statement, ALBA “expressed its firm and strong opposition to the imposition of unilateral measures by the government of the United States, against the government and the Venezuelan people.”

The 11-nation regional body called the latest sanctions imposed by the U.S. government “an affront to the democratic will of the Venezuelan people” which has been “expressed in countless elections, and represented in the legitimacy of its political leadership and its institutions.”

Destabilizing the Bolivarian government in order to achieve its overthrow

The ALBA countries also warned that “coercive measures” against the Venezuelan government, such as sanctions, aim to tear up “the process of socio-political transformation” that Venezuela is pursuing. It states that the U.S. is “destabilizing the Bolivarian government in order to achieve its overthrow, or a change in its political regime chosen by the people.”

Highlighting inconsistencies in its policy towards Venezuela while at the same time reducing sanctions on and renewing relations with Cuba, ALBA said the latest U.S. action contradicts statements by President Barack Obama about “the failure of unilateral measures of economic, financial and political pressures.”

Rejecting Washington’s allegation of human rights abuses in Venezuela, the statement notes that Venezuela is “leading the world in terms of … defense of human rights”

ALBA calls on other Latin American and Caribbean countries to reject US interventionist attitude

The ALBA nations also called on other Latin American and Caribbean countries to join “the rejection of interventionist attitudes of government of the United States, which violate the principles of international law, respect for the sovereignty of countries, and self-determination of peoples.”

Finally, ALBA offered its support to ending any divisions between the two nations and offered “to promote constructive dialogue on equal terms between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the United States of America.”

Source:  Venezuela Receives Further Backing against US Sanctions TeleSUR

Non Aligned Movement Backs Venezuela against U.S. Sanctions

The group of 120 nations issued a statement denouncing the sanctions as an intervention into Venezuelan affairs.

non-aligned movement

Presidents meeting at the Non-Aligned Summit in 2012 | Photo: Presidency India

The Non-Aligned Movement issued a statement Saturday rejecting the latest set of sanctions imposed by the United States against Venezuelan officials.

The body representing 120 nations described the sanctions as “intended to undermine Venezuela’s sovereignty, its political independence and its right to self-determination.”

The U.S. government announced a new set of sanctions last week which target former and current Venezuelan officials. The U.S. has justified various rounds of sanctions by claiming corruption and that human rights abuses occurred in the oil rich county during a wave of violence that left 43 dead in 2014.

Sanctions are politically motivated

However the Venezuelan government has pointed out the sanctions are politically motivated, and that they form part of U.S. plans to oust the elected government, given that the overwhelming majority of the 43 fatalities were caused by right-wing extremist’s violence.

The Non-Aligned Movement, considers the unilateral sanctions a “violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter and the basic principles of international law of relations between states”.

Furthermore the group of nations considered the measure “coercive” and manifested its solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their government.

The UNASUR group of South American nations has also rejected the sanctions and will launch a probe to evaluate Venezuela’s evidence of U.S. meddling in internal affairs.

Source: Non Aligned Movement Backs Venezuela against U.S. Sanctions TeleSUR

Venezuelans march against US sanctions

Source:  TeleSUR
December 18, 2014

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said that the Americas will never be a colony of the United States on Thursday (December 18) in response to U.S. President Barack Obama signing legislation to impose sanctions on Venezuelan government officials.

nicolas maduro rejects sanctionsVenezuelan president Nicolas Maduro rejected on Thursday sanctions now signed by U.S president Barack Obama this afternoon. The legislation was passed by U.S. Congress last week, authorizing sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

“President Obama has taken a false step against our country, by signing the sanctions, despite the national and continental rejection of them. On the one hand, he recognizes the failure of the aggression against and blockade of Cuba … which with dignity, has resisted and won, and on the other hand he has started a stage of increased aggressions against (Venezuela),” said Maduro via Twitter.

Twitter translations:

These are the contradictions of an empire that tries to impose its domination in whatever way it sees fit, underestimating the strength and awareness of our homeland”

That’s why, I reject these insolent measures taken by the imperialist elite of the United States against Venezuela. The homeland of Bolivar should be respected.

Imperialists of the north, anyway they can, will keep on failing. Our America will never again be a colony of anyone, we swear by it.

Right-wing opposition violence

The U.S claims the sanctions are in retaliation for the so-called repressive or violent role of government officials earlier this year.

Some right-wing opposition supporters participated in blockades, burning over 100 public buses, stations, and buildings, shot at Chavista marchers, while also physically and verbally attacking people trying to get to school or hospitals between February and April this year. Forty-three people were killed, the majority being civilians and members of the pro-government national guard.

The government arrested some of the people perpetrating violence, although most of those arrested have been released.

The U.S santions would deny visas and freeze assets of government officials.

On Monday, Venezuelans marched against the sanctions. The country also celebrated 15 years of a constitution which gave them protagonistic participation in decision-making, and broad rights.

venezuelans march against sanctions”I want the response to U.S. actions to be as it’s always has been, the homeland of Liberator Simon Bolivar responds with dignity. This is why I call upon the women of this country to march on Monday, December 15, to march to protest imperialism, an anti-imperialist march from the people of Venezuela,” said Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro at a gathering Friday with the Mothers Food Processing Corporation in Caracas.

Maduro, along with various other Latin American nations, has denounced the U.S. sanctions.

Source:  Venezuela’s Maduro Rejects Obama’s Signing of Sanctions  TeleSUR

Zimbabwe: ACP Assembly Calls for Removal of Sanctions

acp_logoTHE African, Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly has trashed claims by the European Union that the sanctions regime on Zimbabwe was “smart” or “targeted” saying the sanctions were unjustified, had caused company closures and suffering among ordinary people and should be lifted.

The ACP Parliamentary Assembly, which is made up of 79 countries drawn from Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific regions made the groundbreaking declaration at its 34th session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Friday last week to Wednesday this week where the embargo was rapped for spawning negative economic and social consequences in Zimbabwe.

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