EU to impose arms embargo on Venezuela

By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 9, 2017 at 7:14 AM
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Nov. 9 (UPI) -- European Union ambassadors have agreed to ban the sale of weapons and surveillance technologies to Venezuela, placing greater pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's regime.

The move was approved by members of the 28-member EU at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, and foreign ambassadors are expected to sign off on the ban on Monday.

The ban is intended to stop the government from using force to repress opposition.

The EU members also agreed to ban the export of surveillance technologies to Caracas and potentially some travel for Venezuelan officials. New punishments would add to the list of sanctions already imposed against Maduro's government.

Since Maduro took power, opposition figures have been prosecuted and jailed or stripped of their political authority.

In August, the United Nations found human rights violations and "widespread and systematic use of excessive force" amid anti-government protests.

Canada and the United States have already placed sanctions against Caracas and frozen the assets of individuals they believe are linked to human rights abuses.

In August, the United States banned trading of new debt by the Venezuelan government and the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela -- a move Maduro said was "choking" the nation's access to credit.

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