Venezuela Slams EU Meddling After Sanctions on Gov't Officials

In a statement published Monday, Venezuela's foreign ministry condemned the EU for its 'blatant subordination' to the U.S.

Venezuela issued a statement Monday rejecting the European Union’s announcement of sanctions against 11 high-ranking officials in protest of President Nicolas Maduro’s reelection in the May elections, which were boycotted by some sectors of the Venezuelan opposition such as the Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD.

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“The EU undermines political peace in Venezuela by meddling in its internal affairs and endeavoring to apply coercive measures against tranquility and dialogue between Venezuelans,” the statement by Venezuela’s foreign ministry reads.

The EU sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes against people close to President Maduro.

Venezuela’s foreign ministry also criticized the EU saying “it is surprising the blatant subordination of the EU to the Trump Administration, emulating its actions of aggression against Venezuela, designed by the most extremist and warlike sectors of that government.”

According to the EU the May 20 elections in Venezuela, which were accompanied by over 100 international observers, were not free or fair. The main argument behind that assertion is that two popular opposition leaders and some political parties were unable to compete.

Leopoldo Lopez couldn’t run because he was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison for inciting to violence during the deadly 2014 protests. The other one is Henrique Capriles, who was sanctioned in 2017 by Venezuelan ombudsman Manuel Galindo over corruption charges when he was governor of the state of Merida.

Electoral restrictions did not amount to an inability to present a unified opposition candidate to reach what they have called an “electoral solution.”  

Henry Ramos Allup, former president of the suspended National Assembly, offered his Democratic Action party to present a “united Venezuela” ticket in late January. Ramos Allup’s party was able to participate because it had successfully completed the revalidation process.

Nicolas Maduro obtained 5.8 million votes in the May 20 elections, that is four million more than main opposition candidate Henri Falcon, who decided not to heed calls for an electoral boycott.

“The Bolivarian government reiterates to the EU that Venezuela will not accept threats from any world power or group of countries coalesced with imperial reminiscences,” the statement concluded.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Condemns Unilateral Sanctions by EU

Jorge Arreaza said that the sanctions by the European Union are aimed at attacking the Bolivarian Revolution and its democratic institutions.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Monday condemned the unilateral sanctions of the European Union (EU) and called on the bloc to rectify its interventionist position.

"It is regrettable that the European Union is put to the tail's end of US imperialism, it is regrettable that the European Union has issued a series of restrictive measures against Venezuelan citizens, officials, but also presidents of public powers, that is, against Venezuela and its democratic institutionality democratic," Arreaza said during the II Forum of Cooperation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and China.

RELATED:  Venezuela Rejects 'Interventionist' Sanctions Imposed by EU

Arreaza asserted that the EU violates international law by subordinating its foreign policy "to the imperialist, supremacist and racist US policy"

"Venezuela calls on the EU to reflect and rectify because our independence is sacred, our institutions legitimate," he said.

Arreaza stressed that the EU's arguments to impose sanctions are not to promote dialogue with the opposition, on the contrary "it is about attacking the Bolivarian Revolution, and attacking Venezuelan democratic institutions."

He recalled that the undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, had previously reported that "they instructed the EU with a package of sanctions against Venezuela."

The Venezuelan diplomat said that his country will continue in the process of dialogue with the opposition, as well as progress in all areas of society.

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