The US government declared Venezuela as a dictatorship and imposed sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whom they accuse to have broken the constitutional order, one day after the Caribbean country elected a new Assembly with powers to modify the constitution.

The measures jibe with the previously stated threat by the American government of punishing the South American government in case the vote was carried on. The US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin considered the elected representatives illegitimate and announced his intention of slapping further sanctions on them when they take office.

Up to today, the results were not announced, only the voter turnout of 41,5%, according to the National Electoral Committee of Venezuela. However, as all the candidates in the election were government supporters – once the opposition waived to take part of the contest – the expected outcome is of an assembly 100% controlled by Nicolás Maduro’s partisans.

The new representatives might take office in up to 72 hours following the announcement of the results.

Not the first time

That is the fourth package of specific sanctions announced by the White House against Venezuelan officials this year. On Wednesday, July 26, 13 people were punished for their role in calling the election and violently suppress protests countrywide.

Among them is the president of the National Electoral Committee Néstor Reverol, the Police and Army commanders, besides several executives of the state controlled-oil company PDVSA.

In May, eight justices of the government-controlled Supreme Court were punished, following their decision to withdraw powers from the parliament elected in 2015, which had an opposition majority.

Before, Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami received sanctions for supporting drug dealers.

The US is not alone

The position of the United States of not recognizing the legitimacy of the newly elected assembly was followed by Spain and eight other countries in the Americas: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

The OAS (Organization of American States) Secretary General Luis Almagro also condemned the election in a statement published on the institution's web portal.

Only two countries showed explicit support to Nicolás Maduro - Bolivia, led by president Evo Morales and Cuba, the Caribbean dictatorship controlled by Raul Castro, brother of late dictator Fidel Castro. Both leaders accused the United States of leading a conspiracy against Maduro and the Venezuelan government.