U.S. imposes new sanctions on Venezuela

(CBC.CA) – The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Venezuela on Friday, targeting six of the country’s government officials tied to President Nicolas Maduro in its latest move to squeeze the embattled leader.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Treasury cited the battle over humanitarian assistance and blamed the six current or former security officials, who it said controlled groups that blocked aid from reaching people in the Latin American country.

“We are sanctioning members of Maduro’s security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, after deadly violence blocked humanitarian aid from reaching Venezuela over the weekend.

The U.S. “will continue to target Maduro loyalists prolonging the suffering of the victims of this man-made humanitarian crisis,” Mnuchin added.

Separately, the U.S. envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said the U.S. had revoked visas of “dozens more”  Venezuelans but declined to elaborate, saying U.S. laws prevented him from discussing details about visas.