Un­lim­ited pow­ers

U.S. to hit Venezuela with new sanc­tions af­ter elec­tion

Cape Breton Post - - Business - BY MATTHEW LEE AND CATHERINE LUCEY

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is pre­par­ing to levy new sanc­tions on Venezuela, U.S. of­fi­cials said Mon­day, in re­sponse to a week­end elec­tion that gives the South Amer­i­can coun­try’s rul­ing party vir­tu­ally un­lim­ited pow­ers.

The of­fi­cials said the new sanc­tions could be im­posed as early as Mon­day and will likely tar­get Venezuela’s oil sec­tor, in­clud­ing pos­si­bly its state-owned pe­tro­leum com­pany. One of­fi­cial said an an­nounce­ment was im­mi­nent. The of­fi­cials were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter pub­licly and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion im­posed sanc­tions on more than a dozen se­nior cur­rent and for­mer Venezue­lan of­fi­cials last week, warn­ing the so­cial­ist gov­ern­ment that new penal­ties would come if Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro went ahead with Sun­day’s elec­tion for a con­stituent assem­bly.

The assem­bly will draw up a new con­sti­tu­tion that many be­lieve is aimed only at se­cur­ing Maduro’s in­creas­ingly au­thor­i­tar­ian rule. On Mon­day, Venezuela’s gov­ern­ment said the elec­tion had given it a pop­u­lar man­date to dra­mat­i­cally re­cast the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, de­spite wide­spread claims of low voter turnout.

AP PHOTO/ARIANA CUBILLOS

A pedes­trian walks near a bar­ri­cade made by anti-gov­ern­ment demon­stra­tors in Cara­cas, Venezuela on Mon­day. Elec­toral au­thor­i­ties said more than 8 mil­lion peo­ple voted Sun­day to cre­ate a con­sti­tu­tional assem­bly en­dow­ing Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro’s rul­ing party with vir­tu­ally un­lim­ited pow­ers - a fig­ure widely dis­puted by in­de­pen­dent an­a­lysts.

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