U.S. sanctions Venezuelan Supreme Court judges over attempted power grab

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By —— Bio and Archives May 19, 2017

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How can the U.S. do that, you wonder? As bad as the Maduro regime is, Venezuela is a sovereign country outside our jurisdiction. How can we sanction them?

Remember: Life in Venezuela isn’t a day at the beach for anyone right now. And if you wanted a day at the beach, where you might you go? Yep.


The Trump administration sanctioned eight Venezuelan Supreme Court judges Thursday, freezing their assets and banning them from travel to the U.S. as punishment for stripping the Venezuelan Congress of all powers earlier this year, a decision the court later reversed amid widespread international outcry.

The sanctions are the first unrelated to drug trafficking imposed by the Trump administration against high-ranking members of the Venezuelan government. They are intended to continue to isolate the embattled administration of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, which has been besieged by weeks of escalating protests following an economic collapse that has left Venezuelans tired, poor and hungry.

“The United States is not going to allow those who impede democracy or violate human rights to go unpunished,” Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who pushed for the sanctions, told the Miami Herald. He decried some of the judges by name Wednesday on the Senate floor, calling them “puppets who do [Maduro’s] bidding.”

The court, stacked with Maduro loyalists, declared in March it would assume all legislative functions from the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which had been deemed illegitimate after being held in contempt of previous court rulings. Denounced by the opposition and international community as an undemocratic power grab, the court’s decision was undone days later by the judges themselves, under apparent pressure from Maduro.

It sounds like this is being done very much at the behest of Marco Rubio, and if so then good on him. In the post-revolution workers’ paradise of Venezuela, the richest and most powerful certainly seem to spend as much time in the United States as they can, and apparently they’ve taken to keeping a fair amount of their assets here as well.


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