European Union sanctions Venezuela

The European Union approved sanctions against Venezuela on Monday, including a ban on arms sale.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Council said that in light of the setting up of an “all-powerful Constituent Assembly” and the recent gubernatorial elections, which the EU claims were marred by various irregularities, “the Council has today decided by unanimity to adopt restrictive measures, underscoring its concerns with the situation in the country. These consist of an embargo on arms and on related material that might be used for internal repression, as well as a legal framework for a travel ban and assets freeze.” The measures, it added, were designed “not to harm the Venezuelan population whose plight the EU wishes to alleviate.”

The bloc calls on the government of Venezuela to hold “free and fair” elections and release political prisoners, and on the opposition to engage in “a united manner towards a negotiated solution” to the current crisis, it concluded.