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US describes Venezuela’s Maduro as dictator, slams him with sanctions after controversial voteAfter the vote on Sunday that brings Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro one step closer to rewriting the country’s constitution, the U.S. Treasury Department decided to impose sanctions on the controversial leader. “By sanctioning Maduro, the United States makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and our support for the people of Venezuela,” the U.S. Treasury Department explained in a statement.
Watch: Explosion in Caracas during vote
After Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro declared victory in Sunday’s controversial election, which brings him one step closer to rewriting the country’s constitution, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions on the South American leader. Sunday’s vote was about creating a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), which would grant the president’s party extensive authority as most of its members would be his supporters.
“Yesterday’s illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “By sanctioning Maduro, the United States makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and our support for the people of Venezuela who seek to return their country to a full and prosperous democracy.”
“Under Maduro, the Venezuelan government has deliberately and repeatedly abused the rights of citizens through the use of violence, repression, and criminalization of demonstrations,” the U.S. Treasury Department’s statement read. “At his direction, the regime's security forces have systematically repressed and criminalized opposition parties through arbitrary detention, military prosecution of civilians, and the excessive use of force against demonstrators.”
“Any member of the opposition or critic of the regime risks being detained, imprisoned, assaulted, tortured, and assassinated,” the statement continued. The new sanctions include the suspension of all of Maduro’s assets in the U.S. In addition, Americans are now banned from dealing with him.
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