EU Blacklists Seven Key Venezuela Officials in New Sanctions

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The European Union blacklisted seven key allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, adding to sanctions that already include an arms embargo against the country that is slipping ever deeper into crisis.

The measures, endorsed by foreign ministers from the 28-nation EU, include a travel ban and an asset freeze.

“These individuals are involved in the non-respect of democratic principles or the rule of law as well as in the violation of human rights,” the Brussels office of EU governments said in a statement on Monday.

Diosdado Cabello

Photographer: Wil Riera/Bloomberg

The sanctions go to the heart of Maduro’s administration, including Diosdado Cabello, second-in-command of the United Socialist Party, National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena and Attorney General Tarek William Saab. The penalties add to the EU arms embargo imposed in November and sanctions already imposed on Maduro and his top officials by the U.S. after their crackdown on the political opposition.

“This country wants to rise up but they won’t let us," Cabello said at a press conference in Caracas on Monday. "They want to neutralize and isolate Venezuela from the European Union. I dare them to find a single cent."

The latest list also includes Interior Minister Nestor Reverol, who oversaw the operation that killed renegade cop Oscar Perez and six other "terrorists" in a shootout with Venezuelan special forces last week. In one of nearly a dozen video clips, Perez said security forces had ignored the rebel band’s pleas to hand themselves in.

Also listed are Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno, head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez and head of Caracas government Antonio Benavides.

— With assistance by Andrew Rosati

(Updates with comments from Diosdado Cabello in 5th paragraph.)
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