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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 25 March 2019

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In brief: Venezuela

* The US has sanctioned the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) and five of its subsidiaries (Banco Bandes Uruguay, Banco de Venezuela, Banco Universal, Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo, and Banco Prodem). In addition, the US announced that people working in Venezuela’s financial sector could be subject to further sanctions, with the aim of targeting “a financial institution that the former Maduro regime uses to move money stolen from the Venezuelan people outside of Venezuela,” according to a press statement by the US department of state. This action has been taken in response to raids carried out by Nicolás Maduro's government on the homes of several opposition leaders, and to the arrests of members of the opposition including that of Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to the widely recognised self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó. The statement concludes that the US will “continue to use the full weight of [its] economic and diplomatic power to press for the freedom of the Venezuelan people and restoration of Venezuelan democracy”.