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US Officials Considering New Sanctions on Venezuelan Regime

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - May 3, 2017, 1:27 pm
US Officials Considering New Sanctions on Venezuelan Regime
The National Constituent Assembly planned by Maduro is considered a “gross maneuver” aimed at avoiding elections in the country, which US official suggested could be used to issue sanctions against the regime. (Flickr)

EspañolThe United States questioned an announcement Tuesday made by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro regarding the formation of a new legislative body.

The National Constituent Assembly planned by Maduro is considered a “gross maneuver” aimed at avoiding elections in the country, which US official suggested could be used to issue sanctions against the regime.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Fitzpatrick said the freeze on assets owned by Venezuela Vice President Tareck El Aisammi is still being processed after he was declared a key member of the drug trade operating in Venezuela.

Fitzpatrick did not give an accurate number of how much of El Aisammi’s assets are frozen, but he did mention that hundreds of millions of dollars have been seized in the US financial system, not only belonging to the Venezuelan vice president but also to his front man, Samark Lopez Bello.

 

Though he did not elaborate, Fitzpatrick, who made statements to the press via a teleconference, did say that Maduro’s plan for a Constituent Assembly could lead to further sanctions:

“There are other examples of these types of measures that are possible, which I can not announce at this time, but we will be talking with other countries in the region about the application of coordinated sanctions to the extent in which they are possible.”

Donald Trump’s government administration also warned:

“The actions that were taken yesterday could well give us new reasons to consider additional individual sanctions under the Venezuelan Freedom and Democratic Protection Act.”

This announcement from the State Department came in response to Maduro’s announcement on Monday night about a National Constituent Assembly that would stabilize Venezuela as well as defend the Bolivarian “revolution” against what he called a “coup.”

US officials are calling it a setback.

“Nicolás Maduro announced that he would choose people from different unions and community organizations. On the basis of the initial indications, this does not seem to be a genuine attempt to achieve national reconciliation, which is what Venezuela needs at this moment, but to advance a selection of people chosen by hand to participate in this Constitutional Assembly.”

Source: El Nuevo Herald

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

Current Argentinian President Macri Acknowledges Presidential Aspirations in 2019

By: Marcelo Duclos - May 3, 2017, 1:16 pm
Macri Reelection

Español Regardless of the fact that he has not yet completed half of his term, or that the lists for the midterm elections are not yet drawn up, Mauricio Macri has already announced his intention to be reelected as president of Argentina in 2019. The statement took place at a press conference in Santa Fe province held with Governor Miguel Lifschitz and the mayor of the provincial capital, Jose Corral, in the framework of the inauguration of the Santa Fe metrobus. Read More: Can Macri Mend Argentina's Economy before October's Elections? Read More: Argentina: Opposition Demands President Macri's Impeachment When asked about the construction of an airport, President Macri replied that it would be complicated for his current management, which ends in 2019, but is probably possible to realize during his "second term". "The joint airport project is wonderful, I am passionate about it because it gives the region a location and allows the provinces to connect with the world. Argentina is a huge country and we have to get people to fly. This is just the beginning, we are repairing 19 airports all over the country. But I fear that out of all the projects pending, I won't see that one completed during this term, I might see it in my next term." Although the statement took place among laughter, it is no joke; as it is the first reference Macri has made regarding presidential aspirations for a second term. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Since returning to democracy in 1983, Argentina has two reelected presidents: Carlos Menem and Cristina Kirchner, both from the same party. Also, two presidents had to interrupt their mandates: Raul Alfonsin due to an economic crisis and with Menem already elected, and Fernando de la Rua, due to the 2001 economic crisis. The Constitution since 1994 stipulates a presidential term of four years with the possibility of reelection for one subsequent term. After that a former president must wait for a full term to be a presidential candidate again. Source: Infobae

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