UPDATED 1:28 PM PT — Friday, March 01, 2019
The Treasury Department is rolling out new sanctions against Venezuela. On Friday, department Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the latest sanctions are targeting Venezuelan officials, who are blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country.
Those sanctioned include Venezuelan special forces commanders and members of the national police. Mnuchin said his department is committed to targeting “Maduro loyalists, who are prolonging the humanitarian crisis.”
U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela — Elliott Abrams — also announced visa restrictions against Maduro’s supporters.
“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,” he stated. “Neither are their family members, who enjoy a privileged lifestyle at the expense of liberty and prosperity of millions of Venezuelans.”
Abrams said the U.S. will continue to take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, Russia is vowing to counter any attempts to meddle in Venezuelan domestic affairs as it pledges its support of the Maduro regime.
While speaking Friday with Venezuela’s vice president in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed the country’s cooperation with Venezuela and its backing of President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s vice president said his country is going through a challenging time, and is calling on countries which defend international legislation to come together.
“We cooperate tightly and coordinate our actions on the international arena, and at the moment (our cooperation) is gaining special importance under the circumstances of Venezuela facing a frontal attack and a shameless intervention into its internal affairs,” said the Russia foreign minister.
Lavrov said any possibility of military action in Venezuela will reveal the true aims of the U.S. policy in the region.