The United States on Monday declared Venezuela a national security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials from the oil-rich country, Reuters reported.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order, which officials said does not target Venezuela’s energy sector or broader economy.
The move is aimed at people whose actions undermined democratic processes or institutions, had committed acts of violence or abuse of human rights, were involved in curbing freedom of expression, or those engaged in corruption, officials said.
The list of sanctioned individuals includes Gustavo Gonzalez, head of Venezuelan state intelligence service Sebin; Manuel Perez, director of the national police; and Justo Noguero, a former National Guard commander who now runs state mining firm CVG, according to the report.
“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, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of US financial systems,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told reporters that Caracas will respond to the US move soon, the report said.
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