President Barack Obama is levying new sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials who the U.S. says have violated human rights and engaged in acts of public corruption.
The White House says the penalties are aimed at those involved in human rights violations, persecution of political opponents and significant public corruption. The White House says the penalties are not aimed at the Venezuelan people or economy.
The officials sanctioned include intelligence and law enforcement officials.
Tensions between the two nations have been on the rise. Last week, Venezuela gave the U.S. two weeks to slash its diplomatic mission there to less than 20 percent of its current size. The U.S., in turn, has criticized Venezuela for its anti-American rhetoric.