The European Union imposed sanctions on 19 Venezuelan officials, lawmakers and members of the security forces, citing December’s legislative elections which the bloc says was rigged in favor of President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro’s allies won most seats in the country’s legislature, handing him total control of the arms of government of the country.
The EU stated that “the individuals added to the list are responsible … for undermining the opposition’s electoral rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, and for serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms.”
Jorge Arreaza, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, said the sanctions were wrongly imposed, stating that they were based on “false arguments about honorable citizens.”
The newly sanctioned officials bring the number of Venezuelan officials blacklisted by the EU to 55.