[QODLink]
Americas

US congress panel backs Venezuela sanctions

House committee agrees bill to target those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters.

Last updated: 10 May 2014 10:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
A small group of protesters gathered in Washington calling for the sanctions [AFP]

A US congressional committee has agreed a bill that would impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters in Venezuela.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs' vote on Friday, to be considered by the full House of Representatives at a later date, would freeze US accounts and properties of those targeted, as well as cancelling US visas.

Ed Royce, the committee's Republican chairman, was optimistic about the bill's prospects of passage.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said the measure "sends a strong message to [President] Maduro [Venezuela's president] that the United States Congress is well aware of the ongoing abuses perpetrated by his regime, and that they will not go unpunished".

A small group of protesters gathered in Washington calling for the sanctions to be passed.

At least 42 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured since students and other opponents began protests in February against Maduro and his government's policies.

Maduro dismissed the sanctions, saying: "What fools they are! Idiots! Take out your sanctions. The people of Simon Bolivar are not stopped by the sanctions of any empire."

The US Senate foreign relations committee is also considering a similar measure.

The Obama administration argues that, for the moment, sanctions are not an appropriate response in light of talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan authorities have released 16 of 243 people arrested in raids against protesters earlier this week.

245

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list