EU ap­proves sanc­tions against Venezuela

Tehran Times - - WORLD IN FOCUS -

The Euro­pean Union (EU) has im­posed a series of new eco­nomic sanc­tions on Venezuela, step­ping up pres­sure on the govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro which the bloc blames for the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis grip­ping the Latin Amer­i­can state.

For­eign min­is­ters of the 28-mem­ber bloc agreed with­out de­bate to ban arms sales and ex­port of mil­i­tary and sur­veil­lance equip­ment to Venezuela on Mon­day.

“In ad­di­tion to its po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic ef­forts in sup­port of a peace­ful ne­go­ti­ated way out of the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, the coun­cil has to­day de­cided by una­nim­ity to adopt re­stric­tive mea­sures, un­der­scor­ing its con­cerns with the sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try,” the EU said in a state­ment.

The min­is­ters said they held back from tar­get­ing any Venezue­lan in­di­vid­u­als, but warned that the le­gal basis for in­di­vid­ual travel bans to Europe and the freez­ing of any as­sets in the bloc “will be used in a grad­ual and flex­i­ble man­ner and can be ex­panded.”

“Ev­ery­thing we do is aimed at seek­ing di­a­logue be­tween the govern­ment and the op­po­si­tion to find a demo­cratic and peace­ful so­lu­tion,” Spain’s For­eign Min­is­ter Al­fonso Dastis said at the meet­ing on Mon­day.

In the state­ment, the EU also crit­i­cized Cara­cas over Oc­to­ber 15 re­gional elec­tions, which they said took place amid “re­ported nu­mer­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.”

The rul­ing So­cial­ist Party of Pres­i­dent Maduro won a land­slide vic­tory by win­ning gov­er­nor­ship of most of the states across the coun­try. The right-wing Demo­cratic Unity Coali­tion, which se­cured five state gov­er­nor­ships, how­ever, re­fused to rec­og­nize the re­sults and called for street protests.

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