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U.S. targets Maduro-picked top legislator, six others in fresh Venezuelan sanctions

The United States today  imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan government officials it said led a bid by President Nicolas Maduro to wrest control of the country’s congress from U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Earlier this month, troops blocked Guaido from entering congress long enough for the Socialist Party to declare allied legislator Luis Parra as head of parliament.

Opposition legislators in a separate session on Jan. 5 re-elected Guaido and later returned to the legislative palace to hold session.

Washington blacklisted Parra and six other current or former officials “who, at the bidding of Maduro, attempted to block the democratic process in Venezuela,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

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