April 15, 2019 11:57 am

Canada expands sanctions on 43 more top Venezuelans supporting Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered an expansion of civilian militia by nearly one million members on Saturday as opposition leader Juan Guaido toured western Zuila state.


Canada is sanctioning another 43 people it says are implicated in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.

Global Affairs Canada says the sanctions target high ranking officials in the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, including regional governors and those who are undermining democratic institutions.

READ MORE: Maduro orders Venezuela civilian militia expand by nearly 1 million members

Canada has previously sanctioned 70 people in connection with the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, which it blames squarely on Maduro.

WATCH BELOW: Venezuela opens investigation into Juan Guaido over blackout

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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Santiago, Chile today for the 12th meeting of the Lima Group — the Western Hemisphere coalition that is calling for Maduro’s ouster.

Canada, its Lima Group allies, and the United States are among approximately 50 countries that say Maduro stole his country’s election last year and is no longer the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

They instead recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president, and have called on the Venezuelan military to back him.

Freeland says Canada is imposing the additional sanctions to hold members of Maduro’s regime accountable.

WATCH BELOW: Guaido calls on Venezuelans, army to put pressure on Maduro

“These measures are being taken in response to the Maduro regime’s anti-democratic actions, particularly relating to the repression and persecution of the members of the interim government, censorship, and excessive use of force against civil society, undermining the independence of the judiciary and other democratic institutions,” says the Global Affairs statement.

The sanctions come as the Maduro government banned the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Spanish-language channel from Venezuelan air waves.

Germany, one of the countries that recognizes Guaido, says the ban is “very regrettable” and that it is a strong supporter of press freedom.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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