Published On: Wed, Jul 30th, 2014

US imposes visa restrictions against human rights abusers in Venezuela

KerryWASHINGTON, USA - On Wednesday, the US State Department announced that Secretary of State John Kerry has decided to impose restrictions on travel to the United States by a number of Venezuelan government officials who have been responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses.

The names of the individuals affected were not released because of visa record confidentiality.

According to a statement by Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson at the State Department, Venezuela in recent months has witnessed large-scale protests by demonstrators concerned about deteriorating economic, social, and political conditions. Government security forces have responded to these protests in many instances with arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force.

“We have seen repeated efforts to repress legitimate expression of dissent through judicial intimidation, to limit freedom of the press, and to silence members of the political opposition,” Harf said.

“With this step we underscore our commitment to holding accountable individuals who commit human rights abuses ... our message is clear: those who commit such abuses will not be welcome in the United States,” she said.

Harf emphasized that Wednesday’s action is specific and targeted, directed at individuals responsible for human rights violations and not at the Venezuelan nation or its people.

By Caribbean News Now contributor

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