US Slaps Sanctions on Lawmakers in Venezuela over Control of Parliament

People enjoy Bahia de los Ninos beach in La Guaira Vargas state Venezuela

People enjoy Bahia de los Ninos beach in La Guaira Vargas state Venezuela

"The group is led by Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero, who continues to obstruct the proceedings of the National Assembly".

The opposition labeled the attempt as a "coup" and held their own election at a nearby newspaper office where Guaido earned a quorum of the 167-member legislature. The move is Washington's latest action to ramp up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's government. Days later, Guaido and his supports stormed the country's parliament building to reclaim his role as president of the assembly.

The recently elected speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly Luis Parra is among seven Venezuelans targeted by a new round of USA sanctions, the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions came as momentum appeared to be waning behind the United State's year-long intensive push to dethrone Maduro following his 2018 re-election being deemed illegitimate early last year.

Reuters reported last week that the Trump administration was weighing imposing sanctions against Parra and more than a dozen others who took part in the Socialist Party's attempt to take control of congress.

"If the regime had had the votes, it would not have ordered soldiers to keep elected deputies out of the National Assembly in shameful scenes you've seen in videos", Abrams told reporters in Washington on January 6.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the new sanctions demonstrated the "United States' continued commitment to the Venezuelan people in their struggle to restore democracy and prosperity".

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