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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 23, 2005

Statement on Blocking Property of Additional Persons Undermining Democratic Processes in Zimbabwe

In March 2003, the United States applied targeted economic sanctions against a list of 77 persons hindering democratic reform in Zimbabwe. On November 22, 2005, the President signed an Executive Order that allows the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to go beyond previous authority and block the property of additional persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe, their immediate family members, and any persons assisting them. The President also designated and blocked the assets of 128 persons and 33 entities. There is still time for the Government of Zimbabwe to avoid a further expansion of the sanctions list should it begin serious efforts to restore democratic norms and the rule of law.

This action is not aimed at the people of Zimbabwe, but rather at those most responsible for their plight. The failed political and economic policies of the Robert Mugabe regime have succeeded in devastating Zimbabwe. The United States has repeatedly called upon the Government of Zimbabwe to abandon its harassment of civil society, the press, and the political opposition; to restore the rule of law; to negotiate in good faith to resolve the impasse created by the flawed 2002 elections; and to hold free and fair parliamentary elections in 2005. Such efforts have yielded insufficient results. The parliamentary elections in March 2005 were neither free nor fair. Recent demolitions of housing and informal markets have displaced 700,000 people at a time when Zimbabwe is already in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.

The United States calls on all political actors in Zimbabwe to embrace democratic reforms, to engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve the current impasse, and to once again place the country on a path toward development and prosperity.

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