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Obama Levies Sanctions on 7 Venezuelan Officials

Monday, 09 Mar 2015 12:44 PM

President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials Monday, accusing them of perpetrating human rights violations and public corruption in the socialist-governed South American nation.

The individuals all come from the top echelon of the state security apparatus that was responsible for cracking down on anti-government protests that rocked Venezuela last year and for pursuing charges against leading opponents.

The U.S. Congress passed legislation late last year authorizing sanctions that would freeze the assets and ban visas for anyone accused of carrying out acts of violence or violating the human rights of those opposing the Venezuela's government. The White House says the sanctions announced Monday mark Obama's implementation of that bill.

Tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela have been on the rise. Last week, Venezuela gave the U.S. two weeks to slash its diplomatic mission there to less than 20 percent of its current size. The U.S., in turn, has criticized Venezuela for its anti-American rhetoric.

Support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's socialist administration has fallen off sharply as Venezuela's economy has plunged deeper into crisis marked by widespread shortages and inflation over 60 percent. The president's approval rating in January stood at 22 percent, the lowest since the revolution started by the late President Hugo Chavez in 1999.

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President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials Monday, accusing them of perpetrating human rights violations and public corruption in the socialist-governed South American nation.The individuals all come from the top echelon of the state security...
US, United, States, Venezuela
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2015-44-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 12:44 PM
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