Canada imposed on Friday sanctions on 40 Venezuelan senior officials, including President Nicolas Maduro, to punish what it called “anti-democratic behavior.”
The Canadian move came after similar steps by the United States, which has referred to Maduro as a “dictator.”
The measure, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement, aims to “send a clear message to key figures in the Maduro regime that their anti-democratic behavior has consequences.”
The installation in Venezuela last month of an all-powerful, loyalist assembly that supersedes the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly triggered international scorn.
Specifically, the sanctions seek to “maintain pressure on the government of Venezuela to restore constitutional order and respect the democratic rights of its people.”
They target 40 Venezuelan officials and individuals, including Maduro himself, who Ottawa says “played a key role in undermining the security, stability and integrity of democratic institutions of Venezuela.”
Others listed include Minister of Defense Vladimir Lopez, Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council, and Vice President Tareck El Aissami.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday he believed there was a chance for a political solution.
“This is a situation that is obviously untenable. The violence … needs to end and we are looking to be helpful,” he told reporters at the United Nations.