The government of Canada announced today that it had placed financial sanctions on 40 Maduro regime officials, freezing any assets they might have in Canada and banning Canadian citizens from conducting business with them. The sanctions specifically target individuals who are “current or former member[s] of the Constituent National Assembly of Venezuela”, a move that further isolates and denounces the body that was installed via a fraudulent election on July 30 of this year.
The announcement came via a release on the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The announcement was accompanied by a quote from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who explained that the sanctions were meant to punish officials suspected of committing human rights violations. Freeland said:
Canada will not stand by silently as the government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic rights. Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world. Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to restore democracy in their country.
Part of the release announcing the sanctions reads:
These decisive actions are in response to the Government of Venezuela’s deepening descent into dictatorship. By imposing sanctions on the Maduro regime, Canada demonstrates its strong commitment to the return of democracy in Venezuela.
The sanctions are outlined in a document titled “Special Economic Measures (Venezuela) Regulations”, which also lists the 40 targeted officials.
Virtually every high-ranking regime official is included in the sanctions. Below, a partial list of sanction targets:
- Nicolas Maduro (President)
- Tareck El Aissami (Vice President)
- Tibisay Lucena (Head of the Consejo Nacional Electoral, the regime’s electoral body)
- Tarek William Saab (People’s Defender and Attorney General)
- Nestor Reverol (Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace)
- Roy Chaderton (Diplomat)
- Diosdado Cabello (PSUV Vice President)
- Jorge Rodriguez (Mayor of the Libertador municipality)
- Delcy Rodriguez (President of the Constituent Assembly)
- Maikel Moreno (Chief Magistrate of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, Venezuela’s top court)
- Vladimir Padrino Lopez (Minister of Defense)
Canada follows the United States and become the second country to impose targeted financial sanctions against regime officials over their ongoing violations of human rights.
Innmate Dies of Starvation in Police “Dungeon”
A man named Adolfo Ivan Martinez Canino died of starvation overnight in a hospital in Los Teques, Miranda state after spending one year in a police jails cell in that state. According to El Nacional, Martinez had been in detention since September of last year
A Los Teques judge ordered that Martinez be taken to hospital this past Tuesday in order to receive medical attention for his condition. According to a postmortem medical report, Martinez died of multiple organ failure due to severe malnutrition.
Venezuelan prisons are notoriously hellish, and police jails are often referred to in everyday conversation as calabozos, the Spanish word for “dungeon”. Prison jails are typically reserved for individuals who are suspected of having committed a crime or are undergoing trial. It is not clear what crime if any Martinez had been charged with.
NGO: 39 Political Prisoners Require Urgent Humanitarian Care
Humberto Prado, the head of the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones [Venezuelan Prison Watch] (OVP), announced today through a report that the organization had identified 39 political prisoners who need urgent humanitarian intervention given their deteriorating health.
Among the political prisoners highlighted by OVP are Gilber Caro, the Voluntad Popular member who ended an eight-day hunger strike on Tuesday after losing consciousness, or his fellow party member Carlos Graffe, who suffers from urolithiasis.
In its report, OVP said:
The Venezuelan state must offer immediate answers over the right to life of every prisoner; since it evidently has not done that, it is by guilty by omission of not guaranteeing the right to health of these people.
The report also points out that aside from threatening the lives of the political prisoners themselves, their deteriorating health could facilitate epidemics ,like tuberculosis and scabies.
The Foro Penal Venezolano [Venezuelan Penal Forum] (FPV), a human rights NGO that provides legal services for victims of regime persecution, counts 504 political prisoners currently sitting in regime cells.
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