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  • Government supporters attend the closing campaign ceremony for the Constituent Assembly election in Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2017.

    Government supporters attend the closing campaign ceremony for the Constituent Assembly election in Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

The United States continues reprisals against Venezuela for holding elections for the ANC on July 30 and swearing in constituent assembly members five days later. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has authorized new sanctions on six members of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly for being "involved in organizing or otherwise supporting the creation" of the ANC. Another two Venezuelan officials were also sanctioned.

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After United States' sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro July 31, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin warned, "Anyone who participates in this illegitimate ANC could be exposed to future U.S. sanctions for their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela.

The country held elections for the ANC on July 30 and swore in constituent assembly members five days later, but OFAC states, "Today's designations consist of seven current and former officials of the Venezuelan Government and one individual who has participated in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Venezuela."

Over eight million people voted in Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly election — a turnout of over 41 percent, according to electoral authorities — to choose from 6,120 candidates for the 545-member ANC in a vote that has been described as transparent, with international electoral experts and observers calling for respect for the results.

According to OFAC, six of the individuals belong to the Presidential Commission for the ANC or the Constituent Command 200 Zamora.

They are: Francisco Jose Ameliach Orta; Erika del Valle Farias Pena; Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas; Ramon Dario Vivas Velasco; Hermann Eduardo Escarra Malave and Adan Coromoto Chavez Frias, brother of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. 

Tania D'Amelio Cardiet, an official of the National Electoral Council and Bladimir Humberto Lugo Armas, Commander of the Special Unit to the Federal Legislative Palace of Venezuela's Bolivarian National Guard were also listed. OFAC accused Armas of violence against opposition-led National Assembly members.

Munchin added, “President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country."

As with other sanctions imposed against 13 high-level government officials and Maduro, the individual's assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now frozen and people from the U.S. are prohibited from dealing with them.

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