Venezuela’s Supreme Court has barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country, ordering to freeze his bank accounts.
“The Supreme Court in its decision number 1 from January 29 ordered the following measures against Juan Gerardo Guaido Marquez: a ban on leaving the country without permission until the investigation is over, a ban on selling assets he owns and also blocking the access and freezing bank accounts or other financial tools on Venezuela’s territory,” the court wrote on Twitter, TASS news agency reported.
Earlier, Venezuela’s Prosecutor General Tarek Saab announced launching a preliminary investigation against Guaido over “acts of violence in the country starting from January 22.” The United States, in turn, warned about serious implications for those who would harm the politician.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 40 people have been killed in protests in Venezuela since January 22.
Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23.
Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. On January 29, Washington imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA and handed over to Guaido control over a part of Venezuela’s assets in US banks.
Meanwhile, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said that they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president unless Maduro called elections by February 3.
In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.