efe-epaCaracas

The chief justice of Venezuela's Supreme Court said Friday that the sanctions the US government imposed on him and seven of his colleagues represent an attempt at intimidation.

"The government of the United States of North America is trying to coerce and intimidate the conscience of the magistrates of the maximum judicial organ of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to impose an agenda outside of the laws and the democratic process in our country," Maikel Moreno said.

He and his colleagues will not accept "the imposition and intervention of any foreign government," the chief justice said in a statement read from the bench.

The US Treasury Department announced Thursday that it was freezing any assets in the United States belonging to eight members of the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Treasury said the sanctions were in response to a high court ruling that abrogated the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Though the ruling was later partially reversed, anti-government protests continue in Venezuela and 46 people have died in less than two months.

The fatalities include both opponents and supporters of the leftist government, as well as police and bystanders.

Washington's latest round of sanctions targeting officials in Caracas violate international law, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Thursday.