The European Union (EU) said on September 27 that it will continue to impose new economic sanctions on the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela, after announcing measures against seven other officials under his authority.
The announcement marks a more severe tone by the European bloc, which until now has focused more on mediating peace talks.
“This serious situation… cannot be ignored,” said the EU in a press release. It also referred to the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, amid hyperinflation and a food shortage.
“The EU confirms it is prepared to work on further targeted measures to promote that negotiated transition,” the bloc said.
Recent sanctions target seven members of Venezuela’s security and intelligence services, who are accused of being involved in torture and other human rights violations.
Measures include freezing assets and travel bans to the bloc’s countries. Of the seven sanctioned officials, four are believed to be connected to the death of Lieutenant Commander Rafael Acosta Arévalo, a Venezuelan Navy service member who died in custody under the Maduro regime’s intelligence services.
“The regional impact of the crisis is unprecedented, with serious risks for regional stability,” said High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
The EU has already sanctioned 25 people in response to the Venezuelan crisis, including the officials designated on September 27.
Mogherini said these measures might soften if progress is noted.