US plans to impose new sanctions on Venezuelan officials

Associated Press

The Trump administration plans to impose new sanctions on Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights violations as it grows more concerned about the crackdown on anti-government protesters, a congressional aide and a U.S. official said.

The two people spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed on the action, which they say could come as early as Thursday.

The officials said the list of blacklisted officials was likely to include members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, which issued a ruling in late March stripping the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers.

The ruling was later partially reversed amid international criticism, but it sparked a protest movement that has continued for nearly two months and left more than 40 people dead.

The new designations by the U.S. Treasury Department would be the second round of sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on high-level Venezuelan officials since taking office.

In February, the administration ordered sanctions against Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking.