The United Kingdom said briefly rejoin the European Union if only to adopt the sanctions the EU imposed Monday on 11 figures of the Nicolas Maduro regime. They announced his decision only hours after Maduro publicly expelled the EU ambassador in Caracas.
UK Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab, wrote Tuesday morning: “These new sanctions, which (the UK) will also adopt, show that human rights violations & contempt for democracy in (Venezuela) will not be tolerated. We will keep working with European partners & on our own independent sanctions regime to stand up for our values.” Since 2016, the EU has sanctioned a total of 36 individuals linked to the Maduro regime.
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One of the new men sanctioned by the EU is the former opposition lawmaker, Luis Parra. The European community said Parra illegally swore as president of the National Assembly (NA), whose presidency is held by Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition to the Maduro regime.
The EU recognizes Guaido but has urged him to dialogue and negotiate with Maduro for ending the usurpation. Guaido claimed the mantle of interim President in January 2019, arguing Maduro reelection in 2018 was fraudulent.
Added to the list are Jorge Elieser Marquez Monsalve, a military man, designed as Conatel general director, and president of the ad hoc board that the regime imposed on DirecTV. Army Officer Jose Adelino Ornelas, the second commander of the Ceofanb joint chiefs of staff body; Tania Diaz and Gladys Requena, first and second vice presidents of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) respectively; Elvis Amoroso, comptroller general; Juan Jose Mendoza, second vice-president of the TSJ; Farik Karin Mora and Dinorah Bustamante, public prosecutors linked to political cases and lawmakers Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega.
“The persons added to the list are responsible for acting against the democratic functioning of the NA, stripping the parliamentary immunity of several of its members, including President Juan Guaido,” the EU stated.
The actions that motivate inclusion on the list also include initiating politically motivated prosecutions, creating obstacles to a political and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela, serious human rights violations, and restrictions on fundamental freedoms, such as press freedom and expression.
During a televised speech, Maduro ordered the European Union ambassador in Caracas, Isabel Brilhante, to leave the country in 72 hours.
A visibly shaken Maduro, rambling on and trailing off, when announcing the Brilhante expulsion, saying: “We speak clearly and harshly to the European Union, we are not afraid of anyone… Who are they to sanction us?”
Later, as part of a tirade against the EU and the US President Donald Trump, Maduro said Brilhante “is being lent a plane to leave right now. We will arrange our business with the European Union; if they don’t want us, then they must leave. The European Union ends up following Donald Trump’s tail; they recognize a puppet (Guaido) as the president in charge.”
Lastly, Maduro blamed Guaido for the current crisis, saying his regime has had “too much patience” with him. “They destroyed the National Assembly as the parliamentary power in our country,” he said.