The U.S. has announced fresh sanctions on Venezuelan officials after dissident opposition legislator Luis Parra had been sworn in as the new president of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly.
"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated seven Venezuelan government officials who, on behalf of former Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, led a failed attempt to illegitimately seize control of the National Assembly and block interim President Juan Guaido and other deputies from participating in a constitutionally required election of National Assembly leadership," Treasury Department said Monday in a statement.
Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero, Jose Gregorio Noriega Figueroa, Franklyn Leonardo Duarte, Jose Dionisio Brito Rodriguez, Conrado Antonio Perez Linares, Adolfo Ramon Superlano, and Negal Manuel Morales Llovera were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
The agency accused Parra and the other delegates of involving "an illegitimate vote without a quorum while security forces loyal to [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro physically prevented the majority of National Assembly delegates, including Guaido and opposition delegates, from entering the building for the vote."
"These and other designated officials can have sanctions removed if they side with the people of Venezuela and Juan Guaido as their legitimate leader," Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Ending his rival Guaido's term, Parra was elected as the president of the National Assembly by a vote of lawmakers on Jan. 5, with the backing of Maduro supporters in parliament.
Meanwhile, guards blocked Guaido and supporters from entering the parliament building, where the election was taking place.
Later, opposition diplomats held a separate election, where they chose Guaido to lead the National Assembly, and they stormed in the Assembly on Jan. 7 for a more official claim.
Guaido's proclamation received direct support of the U.S. as it happened in early 2019, when he engaged in a power battle with Maduro by declaring himself the interim president.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez