After the United States congress approved sanctions on Venezuela last week, President Barack Obama signed them on Thursday, thereby punishing Venezuelan government officials.
The U.S claims the sanctions are in retaliation for the so called repressive or violent role of government officials earlier this year. Some opposition supporters participated in blockades, burning of over a hundred public buses, stations, and buildings, sharp shooter targeting of Chavista marchers, and physical and verbal attacks on people trying to get to school or hospitals in February, March, and April this year.
Forty-three people were killed, the majority being civilians and members of the pro-government national guard.
The government arrested some of the people perpetrating violence, and most of those arrested have been released.
The U.S sanctions would deny visas and freeze assets of officials.
On Monday, Venezuelans marched against the sanctions. They also celebrated 15 years of a constitution which gave them protagonistic participation in decision making, and broad rights.
”I want the response to U.S. actions to be as its always has been, the homeland of Liberator Simon Bolivar responds with dignity. This is why I call upon the women of this country to march on Monday December 15, to march to protest imperialism, an anti-imperialist march from the people of Venezuela,” said Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro at a gathering on Friday with the Mothers Food Processing Corporation in Caracas.
Maduro, along with leaders of various other Latin American nations, has denounced the U.S. sanctions.