U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Venezuela after Sham Elections

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In response to flawed elections, the U.S. announced on Monday it would slap economic sanctions on Venezuela. Although fewer than 20 percent of registered voters went to the polls, a law was passed that puts a constitutional assembly in place to give Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro unlimited powers. This effectively makes the country a dictatorship.

The sanctions prohibit U.S. citizens from doing business with Maduro and freeze his assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Maduro responded to the announcement by saying he had no intention of deviating from his plans to rewrite the constitution and go after his enemies. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, he had two of his political opponents captured and imprisoned.

Later in the day, Mauro released a statement saying “The threats and sanctions of the empire [the U.S. and her allies] don’t intimidate me for a moment,” adding, “I don’t listen to orderers from the empire, not now or ever… bring on more sanctions, Donald Trump.”

  • Venezuela has been a socialist country since 1999, and it is divided into two groups: those who can’t wait to see an end to socialism and those who love it. In 1999 Hugo Chavez became president and nationalized oil sales. Nicolas Maduro took over after Chavez’ death in 2013. He is being accused of exploiting the poor and increasing his own riches.
  • The dire political situation took a turn for the worse on March 29, when the Supreme Court announced it was taking over the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. This took Venezuela one step closer to dictatorship. The Supreme Court reversed its ruling three days later, but the damage was done and distrust of the government did not subside.

Canada, Spain, Mexico and other South American countries also allege this was a sham election and say they will not recognize it. The socialist “Chavistas” party alleges those who oppose the government are being paid by the United States.

Why this Matters: Many believe the country is on the verge of civil war. Venezuela’s inflation and homicides rates are considered some of the highest in the world, and the people are suffering under severe shortages of food and medicine. The sanctions don’t affect oil sales and it is hoped they will not adversely affect the average citizen.

How to Pray: For believers in Venezuela to remember that God is in control. Pray for their safety and health and that there would be a peaceful resolution.

 

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