The US Secretary of State announced sanctions Tuesday aimed at five Venezuelan politicians, claiming they are engaged in an election manipulation scheme in support of the regime of Nicolás Maduro.
The sanctions were issued under the authority of Executive Order 13692, as amended, which was issued by then-president Barack Obama in 2015. It generally freezes the target’s US assets and prevents Americans from entering into any sort of deal with them. The five politicians sanctioned are José Bernabé Gutiérrez Parra, Miguel Antonio José Ponente Parra, Guillermo Antonio Luces Osorio, Chaim José Bucaran Paraguan and Williams José Benavides Rondón. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that they “are leading puppet opposition parties in the electoral charade planned for December 6.”
After the regime announced the December 6 election, Interim President Juan Guaidó and 37 opposition parties stated that they would boycott the election because they believe that the regime will manipulate the results. The major opposition parties have had their leadership co-opted by the Maduro government and the sanctioned politicians put into place. The sanctions were carried out by the Treasury Department, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “The United States remains committed to holding the Maduro regime and its supporters accountable for their blatant corruption.”
The US continues to support Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela after he declared himself acting president following the election.