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Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics by John T Rourke

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Maduro claims election as a popular mandate

The US government has imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, after the election of a new legislative body to redraft the country’s constitution in a vote described by Washington as a “sham.”

Maduro hailed Sunday’s election as a popular mandate to dramatically recast the troubled state, but his political opponents have warned this could lead to the dissolution of existing powers and turn the country into a fully fledged dictatorship.

On Monday, he was added to the growing list of high-ranking Venezuelan officials target for sanctions which freeze any of Maduro’s assets under US jurisdiction, and prohibit US citizens from doing business with him.

World Order by Henry Kessinger “Yesterday’s illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people,” said treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. “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.”
Acording to Reuters, the US is still considering broader sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry, which could prove devastating for a country which is already in a state of economic free fall.

The targeted sanctions against Maduro “send a loud message that the US is prepared to get tough,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.

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But the specific targeting of Maduro signals that for the moment “the US is not comfortable with broader sanctions,” he said.

“The international community’s options are not great because what hits the government the hardest is oil but anything that involves oil is going to hit Venezuelans hard too and they are already suffering.”

Last week, the US Treasury department imposed sanctions on 13 high-ranking officials including the head of the Electorate Council and the former treasurer of the state-run oil company PDVSA.

Because Venezuela relies on oil exports for 95% of its revenue, opposition figures have warned that broader sanction targeting the oil industry could further exacerbate the social and economic crisis facing the country.
At least 10 people died in clashes around Sunday’s vote, during one of the deadliest days in nearly four months of political unrest.

 

 Russia orders US to slash embassy

How Fidel Castro influenced Nelson Mandela (December 9, 2013)

 

Maduro had insisted that a new constituent assembly would help restore peace in the oil-rich nation. But analysts warned that the vote was likely to further heighten tensions within the country – and further isolate it on the diplomatic stage.

Post dated August 2, 2017

 

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