European nations are considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and several top officials for their recent crackdown on political opponents, although divisions remain over the timing of any action for fear of derailing a negotiated exit to the country’s crisis, The Associated Press reported.
The financial and travel restrictions are being mulled by a core group of five nations — the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands — before being proposed to the European Council, said diplomats and members of the Venezuelan opposition with knowledge of the plan.
While Maduro is among a dozen officials who could be hit with sanctions, no final decision has been made, two people said. The group still needs to breach internal divisions before making a formal proposal to the EU’s executive branch.
Steady progress is being made on building a solid legal case for the restrictions, but the main obstacle is the uncertain impact it could have on a mediation effort by Norway between representatives of Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the sources said.
“Our priority is not to impose new sanctions. But neither is it to relax pressure on members of the Venezuelan government,” said a Spanish foreign ministry official. “The primary focus at the moment is the dialogue in Norway.”
As it was reported earlier, Trump threatened to impose ‘highest-level sanctions’ on Cuba for supporting Maduro.
If Cuban Troops and Militia do not immediately CEASE military and other operations for the purpose of causing death and destruction to the Constitution of Venezuela, a full and complete embargo, together with highest-level sanctions, will be placed on the island of Cuba,” Trump wrote on Twitter on May 1.