President Nicolas Maduro hit out at the United States on Wednesday for sanctions imposed on senior government and army officials in the country, instead praising those individuals for riling up Washington in defence of Venezuela.
The United States’ targeted individuals include the country’s army general Sergio Rivero and the national director of elections Tibisay Lucena in its latest round of sanctions.
The move is aimed at showing Maduro’s socialist government that U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to make good on his threat of “strong and swift economic actions” if it goes ahead with plans for a vote on Sunday (July 30) to establish a constituent assembly.
The accusations the sanctioned individuals face from Washington include human rights abuses, undermining democracy and corruption.
The Trump administration has also weighed possible sanctions against Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino and Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, U.S. sources have told Reuters. But the two Maduro allies were not included in the latest round of punitive measures.