The US administration has revoked visas to 49 Venezuelan officials and their families, suspected to be aligned to President Nicolas Maduro. According to the US State Department, such a move has been undertaken in order to pressure Maduro to step down.
The US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, announced during a special briefing on Friday, that the US has imposed visa restrictions to several officials suspected for being close to Maduro.
“The United States has imposed new visa restrictions on individuals responsible for undermining Venezuela’s democracy. We are applying this policy to numerous Maduro-aligned officials and their families,” Abrams said during the briefing
He also accused Maduro supporters of human rights abuse and violation, highlighting that they and their families are not welcome in the US.
“Maduro supporters that abuse or violate human rights, steal from the Venezuelan people, or undermine Venezuela’s democracy are not welcome in the United States. Neither are their family members who enjoy a privileged lifestyle at the expense of the liberty and prosperity of millions of Venezuelans.,” Abrams said.
He also noted that the United States will continue to take appropriate action against Maduro and “the corrupt actors and human rights violators and abusers who surround him.”
Visa revocation and visa ban are one of the restrictions that the US applies to countries violating human rights and democracy. In December last year, the US Senate passed new legislation which prevented from entering the US Chinese officials who deny American citizens, government officials and journalists access to Tibet.
Previously in summer 2018, the United States Department for Homeland Security imposed a visa ban on several senior officials of the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspected of involvement in corruption affairs linked to the electoral process of the DRC.