Venezuela: Swiss sanctions are ‘grotesque and illegal’

Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza warned the sanctions would “strengthen extremist positions which foster violent outcomes”. Keystone

Venezuelan officials have protested against a series of sanctions imposed on the country by the Swiss government last week.  

This content was published on April 3, 2018 - 16:44

The Swiss Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed on Monday that the chargé d’affaires of the Swiss embassy had been summoned by the Venezuelan foreign affairs ministry in Caracas in response to the sanctions. 

An official note, written by Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza, had also been sent to the Swiss embassy.

+ Swiss slap sanctions on Venezuela and freeze assets 

The sanctions imposed by a “historically neutral” country like Switzerland would not create “conditions for dialogue” but would “strengthen extremist positions which foster violent outcomes”, Arreaza wrote.

However, no retaliatory measures had been taken against Switzerland, said a spokesperson for the Swiss foreign ministry.

Swiss concern

On March 28, Switzerland banned seven senior Venezuelan officials from entering or passing through the country.

The Swiss government had joined other European countries in cracking down on the South American country over alleged human rights violations.

Arreaza said the Swiss authorities’ measures would show the country’s “subordination” to the European union.

The Venezuelan supreme court also ruled on Monday that the sanctions were “grotesque” and “illegal”.

Last week, the Swiss government expressed its concern at the repeated violation of individual freedoms in Venezuela, saying the separation of powers was being severely undermined by the government.

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