U.S. imposing travel ban on members of Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly
CGTN

The United States is imposing a ban on the travel of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly's members to the U.S., said a U.S. envoy on Venezuela-related issues.

Elliott Abrams, U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, said at a press briefing of the State Department that Washington has revoked visas for an unspecified number of Venezuelan officials as the U.S. is seeking to press the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, to cede powers and leave the nation.

"We are imposing visa restrictions and revoking the visas of members of the illegitimate constituent assembly," he said.

Also at the briefing, the State Department's deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss the issue of Venezuela with EU leaders during his upcoming trip to Europe.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) delivers a speech next to his wife Cilia Flores, on the signature campaign he launched to urge the U.S. to put a halt to intervention threats against his government, at Bolivar square in Caracas, Venezuela, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo‍

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) delivers a speech next to his wife Cilia Flores, on the signature campaign he launched to urge the U.S. to put a halt to intervention threats against his government, at Bolivar square in Caracas, Venezuela, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo‍

Earlier on the same day, Craig Faller, chief of U.S. Southern Command, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the U.S. military is ready to protect U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities in Venezuela "if necessary."

U.S. President Donald Trump said on January 23 that the U.S. had recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president," a move that came after Maduro was inaugurated as president of the Latin American country earlier that month.

In response, Maduro announced he was severing "diplomatic and political" ties with the U.S., ordering all the U.S. diplomatic and consular personnel to leave the country in 72 hours.

For years, the U.S. has been implementing diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions against Venezuela. Right before Maduro's inauguration on January 10, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan individuals and 23 entities, accusing them of involvement in a corruption scheme.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency