The United States began a series of meetings with countries of the European Union in order to have the bloc support sanctions against Venezuela, according to reports from the South American country.
The information was confirmed by the director of the department responsible for the implementation of the State Department’s policy of sanctions, Tarek Fahmy, in Madrid, Notiminuto reports.
“The U.S. Administration is watching with increasing concern the deterioration of the humanitarian and human rights situation in Venezuela,” said Fahmy.
“When we act alone, we can only act under our jurisdiction, but if sanctions are supported by partners, they can be effective,” Fahmy said in a meeting with reporters.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington was working on a “very robust list” of individuals in Venezuela to target in expanding U.S. sanctions against the country.
Speaking, during a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the former ExxonMobil head said the State Department was working with the Department of Treasury to sanction the South American nation for what he said were human rights violations.
So far, the U.S. government has 20 Venezuelan people and entities on its sanctions list, including current Venezuelan Vice-President, Tareck El Aissami.
At least 94 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government of President Nicolas Maduro began in early April. In addition to those killed, over 1,200 have been injured, dozens of public buildings and infrastructure including hospitals and schools have been attacked, while countless small businesses have been looted.
Opposition leaders have repeatedly rejected calls for dialogue, and have promised to disrupt President Nicolas Maduro’s initiative to convoke a National Constituent Assembly.
The National Constituent Assembly holds its final elections on July 30 when 545 candidates will be selected to represent the country’s social, regional and economic sectors.