Lawmakers Luis Parra, center, Franklyn Duarte, right, and Jose Noriega, left, give a press at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan 6, 2020. (ANDREA HERNANDEZ BRICENO / AP)
WASHINGTON / CARACAS — The United States has imposed sanctions targeting seven Venezuelans, including the newly elected head of the country's parliament, the US Treasury Department announced on Monday.
The Treasury said in a statement that it has blacklisted seven National Assembly delegates, including Luis Parra, the new president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, claiming that the designated persons "took steps to undermine the elections process in the National Assembly."
We energetically and categorically reject the sanctions against deputies of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela… It is unacceptable for foreign governments to presume to determine the actions ... of our legislators
Luis Parra, New president of the Venezuelan National Assembly
Following the designation, all property and interests in property of the punished individuals subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
Venezuela's National Assembly convened on Tuesday with opposition deputy Parra serving as president of the legislative body.
Hardline opposition leader Juan Guaido lost his bid for reelection as president of the assembly to Parra over a week ago, an outcome Guaido and his group refused to accept.
The United States has been pursuing a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of Guaido.
Venezuelan National Assembly condemns US sanctions on legislators
President of Venezuela's National Assembly Luis Parra on Monday denounced US sanctions against the newly-elected members of the legislative body's board of directors.
"We energetically and categorically reject the sanctions against deputies of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who represent the people as a whole," Parra said in a statement on Twitter.
"It is unacceptable for foreign governments to presume to determine the actions ... of our legislators," he said.
The board members were elected in accordance with assembly regulations, Parra noted.
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