Obama: Venezuela regime is security threat

Obama: Venezuela regime is security threat
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President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Biden nominates Jane Hartley as ambassador to UK To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill MORE is imposing new sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials whom the administration accuses of committing human-rights violations and acts of public corruption. 

The White House said Monday the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro poses a national security threat to the United States. 

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“Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. “And we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems.”

The sanctioned officials include current and former military, intelligence, and law enforcement officials whom the White House said directed acts of violence against demonstrators during last year’s antigovernment protests.

The Obama administration will freeze U.S. assets or property belonging to the sanctioned individuals and they will be barred from traveling to the U.S. 

Earnest said the White House is “deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government’s efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents.”

An executive order Obama signed Monday authorized the administration to target other Venezuelan officials for further sanctions.