An EU sanction – including travel bans and asset freezes – has been enforced on seven officials of Venezuela, as both the political and economic landscape of the country faces collapse.
The European Council issued the ban as a result of the lack of ‘concrete results’ in negotiations between the government of Venezuela and the opposition.
Where do the complications lie?
President Nicolás Maduro has been accused of putting Venezuela under authoritarian rule, through fixing elections and censoring political opponents and critics, since he was awarded political power in 2013.
France and the US have also described President Maduro as a dictator.
Sanctioning versus success
The EU sanction affects:
· Néstor Luis Reverol Torres, minister for Interior, Justice and Peace;
· Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN);
· Tibisay Lucena Ramírez, president of the National Electoral Council;
· Antonio José Benavides Torres, chief of the Capital District Government;
· Maikel José Moreno Pérez, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela;
· Tarek William Saab Halabi, Venezuelan attorney general; and
· Diosdado Cabello Rondón, member of the Constituent Assembly.
The European Council added: ‘The restrictive measures can be reversed depending on the evolution of the situation in the country, in particular
· the holding of credible and meaningful negotiations;
· the respect for democratic institutions;
· the adoption of a full electoral calendar; and
· the liberation of all political prisoners.
The council also recalled that these are targeted measures designed not to harm the Venezuelan population whose plight the EU wishes to alleviate.’
The actions of the EU follow those of Canada and the US, which issued sanctions on Venezuelan officials in 2017.