vrijdag 19 mei 2017

VS kondigt sancties aan tegen leden van het Hooggerechtshof Venezuela

Activa van zeven Venezolaanse rechters in VS bevroren

Het Venezolaans Hooggerechtshof

De Trump-regering heeft sancties tegen acht leden van het Hooggerechtshof van Venezuela aangekondigd, waaronder rechters trouw aan president Nicolás Maduro die de 's lands wetgever dit jaar probeerden te ontbinden. De aankondiging, gisteren gepubliceerd door het bureau van de ministerie van Financiën, 'Foreign Assets Control' (zie onderaan), bevroor alle activa in de Verenigde Staten die toebehoren aan zeven rechters van de Constitutionele Kamer van de rechtbank, alsook de president van de rechtbank, Maikel Moreno, en verbood Amerikanen om zaken te doen met hen, zo bericht The New York Times vandaag, vrijdag 19 mei 2017. 

Amerikaanse regeringsfunctionarissen zeiden gisteren in een gesprek met verslaggevers, dat de maatregelen bedoeld zijn om de rechtbank te belemmeren de Nationale Assemblee te boycotten, de wetgever die door de oppositie van Maduro wordt gecontroleerd.


De rechtbank heeft bijna elke belangrijke maatregel die door het parlement waren aangenomen genegeerd, aangezien tegenstanders van de president sinds vorig jaar de controle hebben over het lichaam, met inbegrip van inspanningen om politieke gevangenen vrij te krijgen.

'Het Venezolaanse volk lijdt aan een ineenstortende economie die wordt veroorzaakt door wanbeheer en corruptie van de regering', zei de secretaris van het ministerie, Steven Mnuchin, in een verklaring. 'Leden van het Hooggerechtshof van het land hebben de situatie verergerd door de zich voortdurend met de wetgevende instantie te bemoeien.' 

Er was geen onmiddellijk antwoord van Venezolaanse ambtenaren.

Gedurende inmiddels zes weken zijn er protesten op straat, na een beslissing van de rechtbank om de nationale vergadering te ontbinden en de bevoegdheden voor zichzelf toe te eigenen. Terwijl Maduro later een en ander terugdraaide, hebben zijn tegenstanders honderdduizenden demonstranten in de straten geroepen om nieuwe verkiezingen te eisen. Minstens 43 mensen zijn tijdens demonstraties gestorven, aldus de autoriteiten.

Het is de tweede sanctie dit jaar door de Verenigde Staten genomen tegen top-Venezolanen. In februari zei de ministerie van Financiën, dat het de activa van Tareck El Aissami, de vice-president van het land, zou bevriezen, samen met die van een zakenpartner. De Verenigde Staten noemde El Aissami een drugshandelaar en dat hij met Mexicaanse en Colombiaanse drugshandelaren had gewerkt om verdovende middelen het land uit te smokkelen.

(Red. De Surinaamse Krant/The New York Times/ministerie van Financiën VS)


Treasury Sanctions Eight Members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice


5/18/2017  https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0090.aspx


Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated eight Venezuelan government officials pursuant to Executive Order 13692.  The designated officials, members of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia or TSJ), are responsible for a number of judicial rulings in the past year that have usurped the authority of Venezuela's democratically-elected legislature, the National Assembly, including by allowing the Executive Branch to rule through emergency decree, thereby restricting the rights and thwarting the will of the Venezuelan people.  The National Assembly has been controlled by a majority of opposition-party members since January 2016.
"The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government's mismanagement and corruption.  Members of the country's Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch's authority," said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.  "By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country."
The eight officials are the President of Venezuela's TSJ, Maikel Jose Moreno Perez, and the seven principal members of the TSJ's Constitutional Chamber (La Sala Constitucional del TSJ or TSJ-C): Juan Jose Mendoza Jover (Second Vice President of the TSJ and President of the TSJ-C); Arcadio de Jesus Delgado Rosales (Vice President of the TSJ-C); Gladys Maria Gutierrez Alvarado (Magistrate of the TSJ-C and former President of the TSJ); Carmen Auxiliadora Zuleta de Merchan (Magistrate of the TSJ-C); Luis Fernando Damiani Bustillos (Magistrate of the TSJ-C); Lourdes Benicia Suarez Anderson (Magistrate of the TSJ-C); and Calixto Antonio Ortega Rios (Magistrate of the TSJ-C).  As a result of today's actions, all of the designated individuals' assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
In the past year, the TSJ-C has issued a number of rulings that interfere with or limit the National Assembly's authority.  For example, in January 2017, the TSJ-C ruled that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would give his annual address to the TSJ and not the National Assembly, as it states in the Constitution.  In December 2016, the TSJ-C appointed members of the National Electoral Council, a constitutional duty of the National Assembly.  In October 2016, the TSJ-C declared that the Venezuelan Executive Branch was exempt from submitting the budget to the National Assembly, as required by the Constitution, and ruled that the budget would instead be submitted to the TSJ-C.  In multiple rulings issued between July 2016 and January 2017, the TSJ-C, instead of the National Assembly, has repeatedly renewed an extension of a state of emergency, a function that allows for the temporary restriction of constitutional rights, at the request of the Executive Branch. 
Additionally, the TSJ-C has issued rulings that limit the ability of the National Assembly to conduct its constitutional duties.  In September 2016, the TSJ-C declared that certain acts of the National Assembly are absolutely null and void.  Most recently, in late March 2017, the TSJ-C issued two decisions that drew widespread criticism from the international community, as well as from the Venezuelan people and from within the Venezuelan government.  The decisions stripped parliamentary immunity from members of the National Assembly and allowed the TSJ-C to assume the legislative role.  Although these decisions were partially reversed following the significant backlash that resulted, the other described TSJ-C decisions remain in effect and show a long-term effort to negate the authority of the legislative branch and subvert the will of the Venezuelan people. 
The eight judges designated today were responsible for these decisions.  The TSJ-C judges jointly wrote most of the decisions, and Maikel Jose Moreno Perez, in his role as President overseeing the TSJ as a whole, publicly defended them.     
Treasury undertook today's action, in consultation with the State Department, pursuant to Executive Order 13692.  The U.S. government continues to call on the Venezuelan government to permit the democratically-elected National Assembly to perform its constitutional functions. 

Venezuela-related Designations

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL
Specially Designated Nationals List Update

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
DAMIANI BUSTILLOS, Luis Fernando, Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 27 Apr 1946; POB Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 2940803 (Venezuela); Passport 103679620 (Venezuela); Magistrate of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
DELGADO ROSALES, Arcadio de Jesus (Latin: DELGADO ROSALES, Arcadio de Jesús), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 23 Sep 1954; POB Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 4159158 (Venezuela); Passport 001875223 (Venezuela); Vice President of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
GUTIERREZ ALVARADO, Gladys Maria (Latin: GUTIÉRREZ ALVARADO, Gladys María), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 16 Apr 1962; POB Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Female; Cedula No. 7525777 (Venezuela); Passport 1122011 (Venezuela); alt. Passport 4532006 (Venezuela); Magistrate of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice; Former President of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
MENDOZA JOVER, Juan Jose (Latin: MENDOZA JOVER, Juan José), Valera, Trujillo, Venezuela; DOB 11 Mar 1969; POB Trujillo, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 9499372 (Venezuela); Second Vice President of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice; President of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
MORENO PEREZ, Maikel Jose (Latin: MORENO PÉREZ, Maikel José), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 31 Dec 1965; POB Tigre, Anzoategui, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 6652632 (Venezuela); Passport 104063109 (Venezuela); alt. Passport 040471125 (Venezuela); President of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice; President of the Criminal Appellate Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
ORTEGA RIOS, Calixto Antonio (Latin: ORTEGA RÍOS, Calixto Antonio), Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela; DOB 12 Oct 1950; POB San Rafael del Mojan, Zulia, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 3264031 (Venezuela); Magistrate of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
SUAREZ ANDERSON, Lourdes Benicia (Latin: SUÁREZ ANDERSON, Lourdes Benicia), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 07 Mar 1965; citizen Venezuela; Gender Female; Cedula No. 6726793 (Venezuela); Magistrate of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].
ZULETA DE MERCHAN, Carmen Auxiliadora (Latin: ZULETA DE MERCHÁN, Carmen Auxiliadora), Sucre, Miranda, Venezuela; DOB 13 Dec 1947; POB Zulia, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Female; Cedula No. 3507807 (Venezuela); Passport 045729072 (Venezuela); Magistrate of the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (individual) [VENEZUELA].

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