The U.S. Treasury Department is targeting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with sanctions, accusing him of widespread human rights abuses.
Treasury announced the sanctions following the election on Sunday of an assembly to rewrite the Latin American country's constitution.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the vote "illegitimate" and said it confirmed that Maduro was "a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people."
Maduro joins Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Syrian President Bashar Assad and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as a head of state personally sanctioned by the U.S.
"By sanctioning Maduro, the United States makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and our support for the people of Venezuela who seek to return their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” Mnuchin said.
Treasury said in a release that all of Maduro's assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction were frozen and that U.S. persons were prohibited from dealing with him.
Mnuchin warned that anyone who participates in the assembly that was the subject of Sunday's election "could be exposed to future U.S. sanctions."
He declined to comment on any further steps the U.S. government might take.
The move comes on the heels of President Donald Trump's reluctant agreement to sign a legislative package overwhelmingly passed by the Senate last week, consisting of sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, constraining his bid to defrost relations with Moscow.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.