MADRID – A prominent spokeswoman for Spain’s ruling conservative party urged the European Union on Tuesday to follow the example set by the United States and impose sanctions on the Venezuelan government.
During an interview on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, Andrea Levy, of the right-wing Popular Party, said she was concerned by the recent detention of Venezuelan opposition politicians Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma following a controversial election on Sunday to appoint an assembly with the power to change the constitution.
“Not only did they stage fraudulent elections to impose the maximum will of the president, but they want to wipe the opposition off the face of the earth,” Levy said, urging the EU to take a stance and impose sanctions on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Spain would offer to lead that debate, added Levy, 33, who serves as the PP’s vice-secretary general for studies and programs and is a lawmaker in Catalonia’s regional parliament.
Lopez and Ledezma, leaders of two opposition parties who had both been under house arrest, were detained by Venezuela’s intelligence service on Tuesday during the fallout of a government election to appoint members to the constituent assembly.
Venezuela has been gripped by politically-fueled violence and protest for months and clashes between opposition demonstrators and security forces loyal to the government occur on a daily basis.
Maduro’s critics fear that his recent actions to overhaul the political system could usher in authoritarianism and have insisted that the country needs fresh elections – a call echoed by numerous Western governments and institutions.
However, Maduro has decried the widespread protests as an attempted coup d’état.
On Thursday, the US slapped fresh sanctions on Maduro’s administration, a move brushed off by the Venezuelan leader who said he did not take orders from foreign powers.