U.S. Targets Venezuelan Government Officials with Sanctions

By Stephen Levy

Lost amidst the news of the political opening with Cuba, the United States has continued to target and sanction one of the Castro’s closest allies, the Venezuelan government. The State Department, as noted in the Miami Herald, imposed visa bans on February 2nd on officials culpable in the crackdowns on political and economic protests in Venezuela, as well as those engaged in corruption. Despite lacking the sheer verbosity of Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Nicol├ís Maduro tried his best to imitate Chavez in his response, criticizing the U.S. as an “irresponsible imperial faction”. Maduro then ordered a pharmacy’s CEO arrested in an attempt to get the company to release more of its products. It seems unlikely that such an action will stem the increasing number of protests on the lack of basic human necessities at Venezuelan grocery stores.