Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza said today during a televised event that the financial sanctions placed on the country by the United States are taking a toll, and that the Maduro regime currently has $3 billion “blocked in the world financial system” as a result of the measures. Arreaza’s comments mark the first time that the regime has provided concrete sign of the effects of the sanctions.

Arreaza had harsh words for the United States government, saying:

[We condemn] the absolute coordination between the anti-democratic imperialist policies of the U.S. administration against Venezuelan democracy and her allies at this time [sic].

The United States and Canada have issued targeted sanctions against a large number of regime officials suspected of being involved in human rights violations in the country. The sanctions generally freeze the named individuals’ assets and prevent their travel to the North American countries. However, the United States has also placed a wider set of sanctions against the regime’s finances, barring any U.S. persons from conducting business with the country.

Report: Venezuelan Legislators Brutalized by Repression

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) released a report today from Geneva titled in which it points to a worrying trend in Venezuela: the rise of attacks against legislators.

According to the report, the number of human rights abuses against legislators worldwide has broken a record this year. Venezuela–along with Turkey, Cambodia, and Maldives--helped to break the record. Taken together, the four countries accounted for 35% of all cases involving abuses against legislators worldwide.

When broken down by region, “a sudden surge of new cases from Venezuela” helped to push the Americas to the top spot in terms of abuses against member of parliament. The IPU’s observations correspond to the Maduro regime’s hard drive towards authoritarianism this year, which involved a violent attack on the National Assembly in June that left a number of opposition legislators injured.

The IPU’s full report can be found here.

National Assembly Asks UN To Ignore Moncada Appointment

The National Assembly has formally requested that the United Nation ignore Maduro’s appointment of Samuel Moncada as Venezuelan ambassador to the organization earlier this week, following the sudden dismissal of Rafael Ramirez from the position.

In its request, the National Assembly informed the United Nations General Assembly that according to article 187 of the Venezuelan Constitution, only the legislature can appoint representatives in foreign diplomatic missions. Because Moncada was named by decree by the executive branch, the National Assembly argues that he cannot be ambassador.

The United Nations has yet to issue a reply to the National Assembly’s request.

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