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EU will impose new sanctions against Venezuela

VENEZUELA (OBSERVATORY) – The European Union can impose additional sanctions on Venezuela, if it considers that democracy is undermined in the country, Reuters reports.

This statement came after the Venezuelan authorities announced the holding of presidential elections, and the opposition announced its intention to boycott them.

EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said in her statement that she regrets that President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters in power nominated presidential and legislative elections on May 20 without consensus on “conditions for a credible and universal electoral process.”

“The European Union will closely monitor the electoral process and related developments on the ground and is ready to respond, through appropriate measures, to any decisions or actions that may continue to undermine the democracy, the rule of law and the human rights situation in the country,” added Mogerini.

She said that all parties should be allowed to participate in fair elections in the country.

The pro-government Supreme Court of Venezuela in January refused the opposition coalition to register for the presidential elections this year.

The coalition planned to hold primaries to agree on a joint candidate. But the government said that the coalition violated the principle of avoiding “double membership” in politics and, therefore, can not be admitted to elections.

Critics Maduro called such an accusation unfounded and said that this decision was yet another demonstration of violations in the electoral process.

President of Venezuela Nicholas Mauro expressed confidence in the necessity of his re-election at the end of April, when the ruling Socialist Party hopes to crush the opposition, despite the economic crisis raging in the country and foreign sanctions.

The 55-year-old former bus driver and trade union leader who succeeded Hugo Chávez in 2013, benefited from a strong political mechanism and support from poor Venezuelans.

Critics from opposition politicians to Western powers doubt that the authorities will allow a free and fair vote, given that some opposition figures were banned from participating in the election campaign.

“These are not elections, this is a military occupation with a fraudulent electoral council,” said activist of the opposition party Maria Corina Machado, referring to the important role of the armed forces in the government and the previous Promadurov’s position of government.