With strong disapproval from a large swathe of Venezuelans, the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, an illegitimate political body imposed by the Maduro regime, usurped the legislative powers of the democratically-elected National Assembly.
The creation of the Constituent Assembly was the Maduro government’s latest bid to bluntly circumvent elected representation. By purporting to elevate the Constituent Assembly over Venezuela’s democratic institutions, and by stocking it with hand-picked supporters of the ruling party, the Maduro regime continues to conduct itself as a dictatorship.
“Instead of listening to growing alarm by the Venezuelan people and the international community, Maduro has chosen to embrace dictatorship more fully, most recently through the constituent assembly's usurping of power from the democratically elected national assembly. This further demonstrates the regime's disregard for the will of the Venezuelan people,” said a senior U.S. administration official during a recent teleconference.
In response, President Donald Trump on August 25th signed an executive order issuing a fourth round of sanctions prohibiting U.S. persons from dealings in new debt and equity of the Government of Venezuela and its state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela. This measure denies the regime a critical source of financing with which it maintains its authoritarian rule. It also protects the U.S. financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people.
“The U.S. government will not allow the Maduro regime and a few corrupt individuals to use the U.S. financial system to divert Venezuela's scarce resources away from the real needs of the Venezuelan people and into their own pockets. We will not let the regime use our financial system as a vehicle for their efforts to abuse the Venezuelan people and their constitutional rights,” said the senior administration official.
In the words of President Trump, “[The United States] will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.”