US Puts New Sanctions on Venezuela

FILE – In this April 3, 2017 file photo, Tarek William Saab, the president of Venezuela’s Republican Moral Council, speaks during a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela. The Trump administration hit Venezuela with new sanctions, Wednesday, July 13, 2017, targeting 13 current or former top officials in President Nicolas Maduro’s government that include Saab. The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals have in the United States and bar Americans from doing business with them. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

The Trump administration has hit Venezuela with new sanctions targeting 13 current or former top officials in President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

It is also threatening more penalties if he goes through with a controversial plan to rewrite the beleaguered country’s constitution, with an election scheduled Sunday to elect delegates to a special assembly charged with drafting a new charter.

The sanctions target senior Venezuelan officials that the U.S. says are promoting that vote or undermining democracy, along with five others implicated in violence or repression amid the country’s political crisis.

They freeze any assets the individuals have in the United States and bar Americans from doing business with them.

Among those hit by the sanctions announced Wednesday are Tibisay Lucena Ramirez, the president of the National Electoral Council and president of Venezuela’s National Board of Elections; Elias Jose Jaua Milano, Minister of Education and head of the Presidential Commission for the National Constituent Assembly; Tarek William Saab Halabi, the president of Venezuela’s Republican Moral Council; and Maria Iris Varela Rangel, a Member of Venezuela’s Presidential Commission for the Constituent Assembly.

Source: Associated Press