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EU imposes sanctions on seven Venezuelan employees

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The European Union agreed Wednesday to impose sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials accused of “torture”, a diplomatic source told AFP.

The decision by the 28 EU ambassadors also requires formal approval from the EU Council. This brings to 25 the number of Venezuelan officials subject to a visa ban and asset freeze in the European Union.

The ambassadors agreed to the sanctions, which targeted Venezuelan security and intelligence officials for “torture” and “other human rights violations,” diplomatic sources told AFP on Tuesday.

In 2017, Venezuela became the first South American country to be subject to EU sanctions.

In addition to the arms embargo, in 2018 the Europeans imposed sanctions on 18 Venezuelan employees.

In July, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell called on the European Union to impose “sanctions” on presumed officials for acts of torture committed in prison against Venezuelan military soldier Rafael Acosta, who died in hospital.

Opponents of the Venezuelan government say the EU should step up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, whose assets in Washington have been frozen.

During a visit to Brussels earlier this month, the US Special Representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, urged the EU to impose additional sanctions on Venezuelan officials and criticized the EU’s strategy in this regard.

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