Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Venezuela Sanctions

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
From AFP:

US Senate panel approves Venezuela sanctions

A US Senate committee on Tuesday green-lighted new sanctions on Venezuelan officials responsible for violent crackdowns against anti-government student protesters that have left 42 people dead.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13-2 in favor of the sanctions draft, which now goes to the Senate floor and is on track for possible passage by Congress.

The bill would allow President Barack Obama to freeze assets and ban US visits by any current or former Venezuelan government official responsible for "directing significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses against persons associated with the anti-government protests in Venezuela."

It also allows the White House to crack down on those who ordered the arrest or prosecution of demonstrators, or who are deemed as having provided assistance including financial support for such acts.

The bill would commit $15 million to help non-governmental organizations, including pro-democracy groups as well was independent media in Venezuela.