Washington Takes a Major Stand Against Venezuelan President Maduro

The Background

From one crazed world leader to another: the U.S. is laying the smackdown on Venezuela. After Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro held a controversial “election” over the weekend to allow his government to implement a constituent assembly — an assembly that would have the ability to rewrite the country’s constitution and dissolve Maduro’s main government opposition, the National Assembly — the U.S. is putting their foot down. Yesterday, the White House announced that American businesses and individuals are now barred from doing business with the Venezualan government, and any U.S. assets Maduro has are now frozen. BBC

What Else You Need to Know

The U.S. is calling Maduro a dictator, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world follows suit. Ten innocent lives were lost on Sunday as protests erupted around the country, and several roads in the capital are still blocked. The opposition says 88% of the country didn’t vote in this so-called “election” and won’t recognize its results. Maduro’s government says 41.5% of citizens voted and they want to implement the results.

What’s Next?

Washington has threatened the 545 “elected officials” of the new constituent assembly not to take their seats. If they do, they could also be subject to U.S. sanctions for “undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela.”