The United States slapped economic sanctions Wednesday on eight Venezuelan politicians linked to the creation of a controversial new assembly loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, including a brother of former president Hugo Chavez.
Washington said the new Constituent Assembly, which was sworn in on August 4, was created "through an undemocratic process instigated by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government to subvert the will of the Venezuelan people."
Those on the list included key members of the presidential commission for the assembly, including Adan Chavez, secretary of the commission and a brother of the former president.
Also on the list was Bladimir Humberto Lugo Armas, a National Guard commander whom the Treasury said was involved in an assault on the president of the national assembly, Julio Borges.
The sanctions place locks on any assets the individuals might have in the United States, and bans any US Americans or American companies, including banks with US offices, from doing business with them.
"President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
"This regime's disregard for the will of the Venezuelan people is unacceptable, and the United States will stand with them in opposition to tyranny until Venezuela is restored to a peaceful and prosperous democracy."