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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pence advocates for sanctions against Venezuela

Por Damian

The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, urged on Monday the countries of the region to suspend Venezuela from the Organization of American States (OAS) and apply individual sanctions to high-ranking officials of the Nicolás Maduro regime for having destroyed democracy and have plunged into extreme poverty what was once one of the most prosperous nations in Latin America.

Pence, who devoted a considerable portion of his speech to describing the tragedy that the South American nation is going through, also accused the Caracas regime of having entered into a partnership with drug trafficking and announced that three Venezuelan officials had been included in the list of sanctions applied by the United States Treasury.

Describing the OAS as a bastion of the democratic values ​​of the continent, Pence said that Venezuela under Maduro had lost the right to be part of the organization.

"We call on all the countries in the region that love freedom to hold Maduro responsible for destroying Venezuelan democracy", said the vice president during an extraordinary meeting of the OAS Permanent Council.

"We have all signed the Inter-American Democratic Charter that declares [...] that the peoples of the Americas have the right to democracy [...] Venezuela has repudiated this promise [...] so today, on behalf of the United States of America, we ask the members of this institution to enforce this commitment to democracy and freedom and to suspend Venezuela from the Organization of American States", he added.

Shortly before Pence had announced that the Office of Asset Control of the Department of the Treasury (OFAC) had placed three Venezuelans on his blacklist.

The OFAC announced in a statement that it had sanctioned Pedro Luis Martín Olivares, identifying him as a significant drug trafficker; Walter Alexander Del Nogal Márquez and Mario Antonio Rodríguez Espinoza for providing support to the operations of Martín Olivares.

Insisting that the United States does not intend to stand idly by in the face of the continued collapse of the oil nation, Pence urged the OAS member countries to join the efforts of the international community to try to recover Venezuelan democracy. "We believe that the time has come to do more, much more. Each free country, gathered here, must take firmer steps to come to the aid of the Venezuelan people to confront their oppressors. And today, on behalf of President Trump and the American people [...] we ask you to quickly take three concrete steps", said the vice president.

Advocating for the application throughout the continent of individual sanctions against Chavismo officials, Pence said that these "corrupt" and "involved in drug trafficking" individuals must stop having access to the international financial system to be able to launder their fortunes.

Also, Pence asked the Latin American countries to cancel the granted visas that allow them to travel through the region. And finally, member countries also have to take measures to hold Maduro responsible for the destruction of Venezuela, he added.