US Senate Committee Greenlights Sanctions on Venezuelan Officials

State Department to Draft Targeted Sanctions List once Congress Approves

EspañolThe US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that seeks to punish Venezuelan officials responsible for violent crackdowns against anti-government student protesters that have left 42 people dead.

Following the approval of the 18-member panel, including 10 Democrat senators, the bill now moves to the Senate floor. The committee chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, told reporters after the meeting: “We’re sending a very clear message: we will not accept human-rights violations of citizens peacefully advocating for their rights.”

Menendez and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio are the bill’s original sponsors, who expressed hope that the full Senate will vote on it “in the next weeks, not months.”

The bill calls on President Barack Obama to suspend visas and freeze assets on US soil belonging to Venezuelan senior officials. The legislation does not list names, instead tasking the State Department to determine those individuals once the law is enacted. Rubio said at least 25 Venezuelan officials are eligible for targeted sanctions and plans to suggest names to the federal government.

Source: El Nuevo Herald.

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