- Brussels has already slapped an arms embargo on Venezuela and placed 36 people tied to Maduro's authorities under an asset freeze and travel ban.
BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday said it was prepared to expand its sanctions blacklist on Venezuela, warning the government of President Nicolas Maduro against further crackdowns on the opposition.
"The EU stands ready to adopt additional targeted restrictive measures against those undermining democracy or the rule of law and those responsible for serious violations of human rights," a declaration approved by foreign ministers from the bloc said.
"The EU will be particularly vigilant with regard to any acts of repression, particularly against members of the opposition, representatives of independent media and of civil society."
Brussels has already slapped an arms embargo on Venezuela and placed 36 people tied to Maduro's authorities under an asset freeze and travel ban.
The statement repeated the EU's condemnation of legislative elections last month and insisted the outcome "cannot be considered as representative of the democratic will of the Venezuelan people".
"The only way out of the crisis in Venezuela is to resume political negotiations promptly," it said.
But the document stopped short of recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as the "legitimate interim president" of Venezuela despite calls to do so from European lawmakers.
Instead it described Guaido and other opposition legislators elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2015 as "important actors and privileged interlocutors".