Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican sponsor of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, today welcomed the Obama Administration’s announcement that it will impose travel-related visa bans on Maduro regime officials involved in serious human rights violations against peaceful demonstrators in Venezuela.
The State Department plans to announce Wednesday that it will revoke U.S. visas held by Venezuelan officials involved in alleged human-rights abuses and a violent crackdown on widespread protests earlier this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Congressional aides briefed on the planned sanctions said the affected officials include high-ranking Venezuelan military, National Guard and police officials, as well as politicians and others who ordered the actions.
The announcement today from Secretary Kerry comes after Rubio’s recent requests for President Obama to impose visa sanctions and asset freezes on the Maduro regime.
During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in May, Rubio listed at least 23 Maduro regime officials that the Obama Administration should target for sanctions due to their involvement in human rights abuses against the Venezuelan people.take our poll - story continues below
“The U.S. government should use every tool at our disposal to hold the Maduro regime accountable for its human rights violations,” said Rubio. “The Obama Administration has taken an important first step by announcing visa bans that would restrict the travel of human rights violators and their families to the U.S. This action should be followed up with asset freezes as well.
“The House has passed a Venezuela bill, and the sanctions bill I’ve introduced with Senators Menendez and Nelson remains the most comprehensive plan that exists in the Senate to punish human rights violators and support the democratic aspirations of the Venezuelan people,” added Rubio. “I’m pleased the administration has heeded my calls to take initial action. I hope the Senate soon passes legislation that deals with the situation in Venezuela in a more complete manner, and I will continue pressing the administration to do more.”
In February, Rubio gave a passionate defense of freedom and liberty on the floor of the U.S. Senate as the violence in Venezuela escalated.