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All you need to know about the sanctions of the European Union to Venezuela

The sanctions imposed by the European Union on Venezuela in 2017 were renewed and will continue until November 13, 2019

All you need to know about the sanctions of the European Union to Venezuela

On November 6, the Council of the European Union announced the renewal of the sanctions that were imposed to Venezuela in 2017. Some days later, on November 13, the EU endorsed "a series of sanctions to punish the Government of Nicolás Maduro because of the crisis the country is going through," according to Euronews.

Leer en español: Esto es lo que debes saber sobre las sanciones de la Unión Europea a Venezuela

These sanctions will be prolonged for one more year, according to an official document published by the Council of the European Union. In this document, it is explained that in view of the deterioration of the social situation and the democratic crisis in Venezuela, the restrictive measures that were in force in the country were renewed from November 13, 2017, to November 13, 2019. According to the same media, these sanctions include:

  • The freeze assets to sanctioned officials
  • The prohibition of entry to countries that are part of the EU to sanctioned officials
  • The prohibition of the sale of arms, ammunition, vehicles or military equipment
  • The prohibition of European citizens and companies from providing technical or financial support to Venezuela
  • These restrictions do not include humanitarian support or non-lethal equipment

Which are the restrictions and sanctions applied by the European Union to Venezuela?

According to the Council of the European Union, the freezing of assets of 18 of the officials accused of human rights violations and of actions against democracy will be maintained. In addition, these officials have a ban to travel to countries belonging to the EU.

The other measures will also be maintained and support will be added for entities or citizens who report irregularities committed by the Venezuelan government, through technical and economic assistance. The sanctions approved last year in Brussels, Belgium, were made as a backing for financial sanctions taken by Washington DC, explains BBC World.

According to the same media, these included sanctions against 30 high-level government officials, including President Nicolás Maduro. The United States justified these measures due to the restrictions that the Venezuelan government was taking against trade and democracy.

This is mainly due to irregularities denounced during the constituent that took place last year in that country, as mentioned by BBC Mundo, which exacerbated the serious economic crisis that the country is experiencing. According to the newspaper El Carabobeño, among the sanctioned officials, in addition to Nicolás Maduro, are:

  • The deputy of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello
  • The president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Maikel Moreno
  • The director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, Gustavo González
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What is the role of the United States in all of this?

According to political analysts, these sanctions only correspond to support from a small portion of the member countries of the EU, which are interested in having good relations with the US. So they consider that these sanctions were unjustified, according to Sputnik News.

This seems to be verified because President Donald Trump himself had made a direct request to the EU to sanction the Maduro government in September 2017, Reuters says.

Likewise, Mike Pompeo said at a conference of the American Enterprise Institute in October of this year, that the sanctions subsequent to the Trump administration's rule over Venezuela were due more to a backing that is part of a large-scale plan. Pompeo is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), now serves as secretary of State of the US.

The French government rejected the sanctions in August 2017, three months before they became effective, according to Europa Press. This country ran as a facilitator to establish a dialogue. As ADN Radio from Chile explains, other countries such as Spain also demonstrated against the measure.

Reactions of the government of Venezuela

According to Sputnik News, the Venezuelan government again rejected these sanctions, which in 2017 President Nicolás Maduro had described as "stupid." He also accused the US and the EU of persecuting businessmen who wished to have economic agreements with Venezuela.

For Maduro, the measures adopted by the US and the EU avoid the purchase of medicines and the supply of food, says the same media. This was stated during the opening of the International Book Fair in the city of Caracas. This represents a significant deterioration of the social situation of that country, especially in the face of the shortage phenomenon that it already faces.

In another episode that reveals the severe implications that these sanctions of the European Union can have on Venezuela is that the Bank of England refused to deliver 14 tons of gold, valued at 550 million dollars, explains Anadolu Agency.

According to the Bank of England, the reason for this decision is given as a way to avoid money laundering. The entity requested that the standard procedure need to be guaranteed to prevent this problem because it distrusts the real use that Maduro would give to the money resulting from the sale of the gold.

This distrust originates, according to The Times, because the president of Venezuela makes the request just after the prolongation of the sanctions of the EU. So the true motivation of the Venezuelan government to repatriate the gold could be due to a fear of new sanctions.  

 

LatinAmerican Post | Mariela Ibarra Piedrahita

Translated from "Esto es lo que debes saber sobre las sanciones de la Unión Europea a Venezuela​"​​​​​​

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