EspañolWith little fanfare, the US Senate’s Committee of Foreign Relations and the Senate floor approved on Thursday, April 28, an extension of economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government through 2019.
The original mandate by Executive Order, set to expire at the end of 2016, sought to punish seven senior Venezuelan officials who violated human rights during a 2014 protest in which 43 people died. The law allows US officials to freeze their assets and deny them entry to the United States.
The legislators passed the bill after Senator Marco Rubio promised to lift a blockade to the appointment of Subsecretary of State Roberta Jacobson as ambassador in Mexico, according to the Miami Herald. After the senators unanimously agreed to extend the sanction for three more years, the Senate then confirmed Jacobson on Friday.
- Read More: What Happens After Maduro Steps Down?
- Read More: Venezuela Government Imposes Four-Hour Blackouts
“Given that the democratic deterioration of Venezuela continues on a path toward economic ruin, rampant crime and increasingly dangerous political polarization, the United States must continue to press the regime of (Nicolás) Maduro,”said Sen. Bob Menéndez, co-author of the sanction.
“Maduro controls the Supreme Court and uses it to overturn laws passed by the National Assembly. These abuses of power and human rights violations are an affront to freedom around the world, so the United States has a responsibility to support extending its sanctions against Venezuela,” Rubio said after the extension was approved.
The extension bill still needs the signature of President Barack Obama.
Jacobson will proceed to become the next US ambassador in Mexico, 10 months after being put in charge of the post by the president.