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EU adds 19 Venezuelan officials to sanctions blacklist

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European Union foreign ministers on Monday agreed to sanction 19 Venezuelan officials for “undermining democracy” and human rights abuses.

The move brings to 55 the total number of members of President Nicolas Maduro’s regime to be slapped with asset freezes and travel bans by the bloc.

The EU expanded the list after rejecting a December legislative election that saw Maduro win total control of parliament after an opposition boycott.

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“The individuals added to the list are responsible, notably, for undermining the oppositions’ electoral rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, and for serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms,” an EU statement said.

“The EU will continue to engage and work with all stakeholders in Venezuela to promote peaceful dialogue and a democratic and sustainable solution to the crises in the country.”

The bloc began imposing sanctions on Venezuela in 2017 as Maduro has cracked down on opposition and has also imposed an embargo on arms that could be used in internal repression.

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