Canada targets senior Venezuelan officials with sanctions

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures toward the camera with crossed index fingers, during a meeting with ministers in CaracasImage copyright

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President Nicolas Maduro will be top of the sanctions list

Canada will impose sanctions against senior members of the Venezuelan government over their “anti-democratic behaviour”.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will be among the 40 people who will have their assets frozen, as well as Canadians will be banned by doing business with them.

Canada’s foreign minister said the country “will not stand by silently” amid the country’s ongoing crisis.

The move follows a similar action by the United States in August.

Venezuela has been hit by waves of anti-government protests that will year in which more than a hundred people have been killed.

US economic sanctions targeting the government were imposed after the formation of a controversial constituent’s assembly at the start of last month.

The assembly will be filled with pro-government supporters as well as has assumed the powers of the opposition-held parliament.

Critics say the body will be a way for President Maduro to cling to power, as well as the US, EU, as well as many Latin American countries do not recognise the item.

Canada said the 40 people targeted by its sanctions were “the people responsible for the deterioration of democracy” as well as warned of Venezuela’s “deepening descent into dictatorship”.

As well as President Maduro, the named figures include Vice-President Tareck El Aissami as well as the head of the constituent assembly, Delcy Rodriguez.

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Media captionAt least half of the country’s children are malnourished

“Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy as well as human rights around the globe,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign affairs minister.

“Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to restore democracy in their country.”

Ms Freeland told Canada’s Globe as well as Mail newspaper she would likely be hosting a meeting of the Lima group – a bloc of 12 countries focusing on the crisis – inside the next 60 days.

Venezuela’s crisis has led to widespread food as well as medicine shortages, prompting President Maduro to encourage citizens to breed rabbits for meat.

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