On March 1, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams announced that the United States imposed new visa restrictions on individuals responsible for undermining Venezuela’s democracy. Special Representative Abrams said, "We are applying this policy to numerous Maduro-aligned officials and their families. 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. Neither are their family members who enjoy a privileged lifestyle at the expense of the liberty and prosperity of millions of Venezuelans. The United States will continue to take appropriate action against Maduro and the corrupt actors and human rights violators and abusers who surround him."
Special Representative Abrams continued, "The United States urges all nations to step up economic pressure on Maduro and his corrupt associates as well as restrict visas for his inner circle. Now is the time to act in support of democracy and in response to the desperate needs of the Venezuelan people."
On March 1, the U.S. Department of Treasury also announced additional sanctions, taking action against six security officials of the illegitimate Maduro regime, individuals associated with the obstruction of the entry of international humanitarian aid into Venezuela or violence against those who attempted to deliver the assistance. Sanctions were imposed on Richard Jesus Lopez, commanding general of the Venezuelan National Guard; Jesus Maria Mantilla, commander of the Strategic Integral Defense Region Guayana; Alberto Mirtiliano Bermudez, division general for the Integral Defense Zone in Bolivar State; Jose Leonardo Norono, division general and commander for the Integral Defense Zone in Tachira State; Jose Miguel Dominguez, chief commissioner of the FAES, the special forces in Tachira; and Cristhiam Abelardo Morales, the national police director.
In remarks to the press, Special Representative Abrams said, "The United States and the international community continue to support the Venezuelan people as they strive to reclaim their democracy. We must support Interim President Juan Guaido's presidency per the Venezuelan constitution, the National Assembly, and the will of the Venezuelan people. Treasury will have made that announcement earlier this morning."
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