Venezuela: EU sanctions shorten movements on Maduro’s government

An arms embargo and the freezing of accounts are the main measures against the sanctioned group

Venezuela: EU sanctions shorten movements on Maduro's government

After expressing their concern about the continuous violations of human rights and the use of excessive force by the Caribbean country’s army, the European Union decided to put a group of high ranking individuals within the nation’s government under restrictive measures.

In addition to Cabello, Moreno, and Reverol, the head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), Gustavo González López, the former commander of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), Antonio Benavides, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, and the attorney general, Tarek William Saab, who replaced Luisa Ortega Díaz are also on the list. 

The sale and supply of arms, ammunition, vehicles, and military equipment are just a few of the areas that are going to be affected by the restriction.

Last year, Venezuela ranked as the primary country in Latin American to import weapons, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Due to this approved sanction, the business of military armament between the nation and some of its suppliers in Europe, such as Holland and Austria, would come to an end. However, China and Russia are still the most powerful arms sellers for the country. 

Spain would also enter this prohibition. Back in 2012, the Iberian country sold to the government of Hugo Chávez, three military vessels, according to United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA). In 2015, it also exported, for a value of ten million euros -US $ 11.6 million at the current exchange rate- military weapons to Venezuela, according to statistics of the Ministry of Commerce of Spain. 

The economic crisis has also affected the arsenal of the Bolivarian Armed Forces (Venezuelan military "FANB"). Since 2014, the business of importing arms has been reduced by 90%, according to non-governmental organization, Control Ciudadano. 

This EU sanctions is also extended towards the equipment used for repression purposes within Venezuela, as well as to technology that can be used for the surveillance or interception of the Internet and telephone communications.

Black List 

The EU stated that those who are considered violators of human rights will be part of a "blacklist". This means that they can't travel to any European territory.  

In addition to this, they will have their European banks accounts "frozen". This measure leaves an alternative of penalties that can be extended, according to the EU members.

Last year, United States and Canada imposed financial measures against President Nicolás Maduro and several of his officials. Also, Washington has prohibited that Venezuelan companies and citizens negotiate the debt of the South American government.

However, the EU has mentioned through a press release that the process of dialogue initiated by the opposition and the Venezuelan government in the Dominican Republic, as a suitable alternative to solve the crisis despite doubts.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government condemned these sanctions saying that they represent a "blow to the dialogue". "The elite that governs the European Union obeyed the designs given by the administration of (the president of the United States) Donald Trump to attack the country and attack the dialogue table (…) It is a blow to dialogue”, said the minister of Communication, Jorge Rodríguez.


Latin Amerian Post | María Eugenia Hernández 
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto 

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