Venezuela won't recognize U.S. sanctions: president

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-27 09:18:52|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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CARACAS, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday said his government would not recognize new U.S. sanctions against 13 leading ruling party figures.

"We do not recognize any sanctions," said Maduro, adding the people Washington singled out were "brave Venezuelans" who would instead be recognized for their service to the country.

"For us (the sanctions) are a recognition of morals, loyalty to the country and civic honesty," said Maduro, speaking at a public event.

The Trump administration said it blacklisted 13 top Venezuelan officials in retaliation for Maduro's refusal to cancel elections on Sunday for members of a National Constituent Assembly to amend the constitution.

Among the officials targeted by the U.S. Treasury Department are Education Minister Elias Jaua, President of the National Electoral Council Tibisay Lucena and national ombudsman Tarek William Saab.

The United States "aims to use the threat of sanctions, or alleged sanctions, as a form of pressure to see whether they can break the Venezuelan government, to see whether they can break Venezuelan democracy," said Maduro.

Washington backs Venezuela's opposition, which wants the elections to be canceled, fearing the outcome may strengthen the government's hand.