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US Sanctions Venezuelan Officials for Rights Violations

Caracas, Venezuela

The U.S. State Department says it is placing travel bans on several Venezuelan government officials who it says are involved in human rights abuses.

A State Department spokeswoman said after months of "excessive use of force" against opposition protests, it has been decided to "impose restrictions on travel to the United States by Venezuelan government officials responsible for, or complicit in such human rights abuses."

Spokeswoman Marie Harf said she could not publicly identify the individuals because of visa record confidentiality, but she said it is a clear message that "those who commit such abuses will not be welcome in the United States." She said the action taken Wednesday is "specific and targeted.