Canada imposes new sanctions on Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his second-term swearing in ceremony, at the Congress building in Caracas on May 24, 2018

Canada announced Wednesday further sanctions against associates of President Nicolas Maduro, including his wife, in response to what it called "illegitimate and anti-democratic" presidential elections in Venezuela last week.

The May 20 vote that saw Maduro re-elected was boycotted by the main opposition parties and widely condemned by the international community, including the United States, which denounced it as a "sham."

Canada rejected the result as "fraudulent," and along with its G7 partners has called on Maduro to schedule another vote, release all political prisoners and restore the authority of the country's National Assembly.

"These sanctions send a clear message that the Maduro regime's anti-democratic behavior has consequences," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

The 14 people targeted by the new sanctions include Maduro's wife Cilia Flores and members of his inner circle, comprising lawmakers as well as election and judicial officials.

Previous sanctions were aimed at Maduro himself, as well as dozens of senior officials which Ottawa said had "played a key role in undermining the security, stability and integrity of democratic institutions of Venezuela."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his second-term swearing in ceremony, at the Congress building in Caracas on May 24, 2018