US Senate approves bill to sanction Venezuelan officials
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US Senate approves bill to sanction Venezuelan officials

The Senate has passed a bill that would direct the Obama administration to levy sanctions against Venezuelan government officials or others accused of perpetrating acts of violence or abusing the human rights of anti-government demonstrators.

The bill, passed in a voice vote late Monday, authorizes sanctions that would freeze the assets and ban visas of individuals involved in the crackdown on those opposing the country’s socialist government.

Sen. Robert Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and the author of the bill, says Venezuelans are facing state-sponsored violence at the hands of government security forces. He says Venezuelan opposition leaders are the targets of government-led campaigns seeking to silence them for speaking out.

The House passed the bill in May and that must be reconciled with the Senate version.