In its ongoing attempt to fracture Venezuela’s hard-pressed government, the U.S. placed financial sanctions Wednesday on eight allies of President Nicolás Maduro involved in creating a newly inaugurated legislative superbody that the international community has decried as an affront to democracy.
The penalties, imposed most notably on the brother of the late President Hugo Chávez, are still far short of the broad economic sanctions President Donald Trump threatened ahead of the creation of Venezuela’s new national constituent assembly Friday, which led the U.S. and other countries to denounce Maduro’s rule as a dictatorship.
But the White House’s incremental approach has won praise from Latin American leaders, Maduro’s political opponents and foreign policy experts who expect the U.S. to move toward more significant sanctions, especially if sanctions are met with regional support.
The newly sanctioned Venezuelans are: Adán Chávez, brother of the late president and former governor of the state of Barinas; Gov. Francisco Ameliach of the state of Carabobo, a leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV); Tania D’Amelio Cardiet, member of the National Electoral Council; Hermann Escarrá, constitutional attorney and constituent assembly delegate; Urban Agriculture Minister Erika Farías; Bolivarian National Guard Col. Bladimir Lugo Armas, head of legislative palace security accused of “several acts of violence” against opposition lawmakers in parliament; Carmen Meléndez Rivas, constituent assembly delegate, and Ramón Darío Vivas Velasco, constituent assembly delegate and PSUV leader.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.