US Slaps Sanctions on Lawmakers in Venezuela over Control of Parliament

People enjoy Bahia de los Ninos beach in La Guaira Vargas state Venezuela

People enjoy Bahia de los Ninos beach in La Guaira Vargas state Venezuela

The recently elected speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly Luis Parra is among seven Venezuelans targeted by a new round of United States sanctions, the Treasury Department said.

The U.S. has announced fresh sanctions on Venezuelan officials after dissident opposition legislator Luis Parra had been sworn in as the new president of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly.

Venezuela's embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, attempt to forcibly install Parra as the new National Assembly chief on January 5 while the military forcibly barred some 100 opposition lawmakers, including National Assembly leader and self-appointed Venezuelan President Juan Guaido, from participating in the vote.

Maduro said in his annual speech to the ruling Constituent Assembly that the "Euopean Union, the secretary general of the United Nations" and "all the worldwide organizations" were welcome to observe the elections, for which a date has still to be set. Days later, Guaido and his supports stormed the country's parliament building to reclaim his role as president of the assembly.

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Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero, Jose Gregorio Noriega Figueroa, Franklyn Leonardo Duarte, Jose Dionisio Brito Rodriguez, Conrado Antonio Perez Linares, Adolfo Ramon Superlano, and Negal Manuel Morales Llovera were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. "Welcome! Welcome!", Maduro told the Assembly, a legislative body he created himself to override the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Washington imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan state company PDVSA in early 2019 in a bid to oust President Maduro.

Venezuela denounced the sanctions Monday, accusing the United States of attempting to "undermine the proper functioning of the country's democratic institutions".

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