U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
Statement by Jen Paski, Spokesperson
February 2, 2015
Ignoring repeated calls for change by governments, respected leaders, and groups of experts, the Venezuelan Government has continued to demonstrate a lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, attempting to stifle dissent by prosecuting political activists and cracking down on peaceful protests, which were triggered by deteriorating security, economic, social, and political conditions.
Pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as used in July, the U.S. Government has imposed visa restrictions on an additional number of current and former Venezuelan government officials believed to be responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses. Under the same section of law, the Secretary of State has also imposed visa restrictions on persons considered to be responsible for acts of public corruption, which is contributing to the rapidly worsening economic and social conditions in Venezuela.
These restrictions will also affect the immediate family members of a number of those individuals subject to visa restrictions for believed involvement in human rights abuses or for acts of public corruption.
We will not publicly identify these individuals because of U.S. visa confidentiality laws, but we are sending a clear message that human rights abusers, those who profit from public corruption, and their families are not welcome in the United States.
We emphasize the action we are announcing today is specific to individuals and not directed at the Venezuelan nation or its people.