U.S. Penalizes Top Judges In Venezuela

In Venezuela On

American government officials, in a call with reporters on Thursday, said the measures were intended to pressure the court to stop its efforts to obstruct the National Assembly, the legislature controlled by Mr. Maduro’s opposition. The court has nullified almost every major measure passed by lawmakers since the president’s rivals took control of the body last year, including efforts to free political prisoners.

“The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government’s mismanagement and corruption,” the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement. “Members of the country’s Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch’s authority.”

There was no immediate response from Venezuelan officials.

For six weeks, the country has experienced turmoil on the streets, after a decision by the court to essentially disband the National Assembly and take powers for itself. While Mr. Maduro later ordered the court to reverse much of its ruling, his opponents have called hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets to demand new elections. At least 43 people have died in clashes, according to the authorities.

It was the second round of sanctions this year by the United States against top Venezuelans.

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