Fifth Venezuela opposition mayor sentenced over protests

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has removed the mayor of El Hatillo neighbourhood in Caracas from office and sentenced him to 15 months in prison.

The court found Mayor David Smolansky, of the opposition Popular Will party, guilty of failing to prevent anti-government protests.

Four other opposition mayors have already been found guilty of similar charges.

The sentence came as the US imposed sanctions on more government officials.

The new sanctions target eight politicians with links to the controversial constituent assembly elected on 30 July. Among them is Adán Chávez, brother of former President Hugo Chávez.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that said the constituent assembly had been created through an undemocratic process intended to subvert the will of the Venezuelan people.

“President Maduro swore in this illegitimate constituent assembly to further entrench his dictatorship,” Mr Mnuchin said

Under the sanctions, the US assets of those named will be frozen and they will be banned from travelling to the US. US citizens will also be barred from doing business with them.

The US had already imposed sanctions on 13 current and former Venezuelan officials on 26 May and on President Nicolás Maduro on 31 July.

Venezuela has been dismissive of the sanctions.


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