Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET
The White House imposed sanctions Monday on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a day after he claimed victory in his attempt to rewrite the Constitution. The sanctions would freeze all Maduro’s assets “subject to U.S. jurisdiction” and prohibit any U.S. citizen from doing business with him. In its decision, the U.S. Department of Treasury said Maduro had “deliberately and repeatedly abused the rights of citizens through the use of violence, repression, and criminalization of demonstrations.”
Venezuela held a vote Sunday to elect members of a constituent assembly with broad powers that will likely dissolve the opposition’s last bastion of strength, the National Assembly. There was no option to vote against the process—even though 85 percent of the country is reportedly against it—and the opposition boycotted the vote; instead, they filled the streets in protest in what became one of the most violent days in three months.
In the lead up to the vote, the government banned public demonstrations and promised to punish those who tried to disrupt it. At least 10 people were killed Sunday (the opposition says 14), including two teenagers, and a police officer. The night before, an armed group broke into the home of opposition candidate José Félix Pineda and shot him dead. An explosion also injured seven officers as they rode motorcycles through east Caracas, and a video of the blast was widely shared on social media. In it, protesters cheer as the officers regroup and hurl tear gas at them. In all, more than 120 people have died in the protests in the past few months.