US revokes visas of 77 Venezuelan govt officials

Washington has canceled the visas of almost 80 Venezuelan officials, Vice President Mike Pence has announced, as the US increases pressure on the defiant Latin American state.

The US will rescind 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or by their family members, Pence said on Wednesday. He added that Washington will continue to pressure the Maduro government until “freedom” in Venezuela is restored.

Last Saturday, the US already revoked visas from 49 Venezuelans. Earlier, six Venezuelan officials, including the head of the National Guard and the police chief of Táchira state, which borders Colombia, were added to the US blacklist for their role in preventing the US humanitarian aid delivery to Venezuela.

The new US restrictions were announced on the day that Caracas expelled the German ambassador over what it called his “repeated interference” in Venezuela’s internal affairs. The situation around the crisis-ridden Latin American state remains tense as the US steps up pressure on the Maduro government in a bid to remove it from power.

Washington and some of its allies, including many European and Latin American states, also actively support the self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido. Meanwhile, Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, as well as some other nations, still recognize Maduro as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.