The U.S. Senate on Monday passed a bill imposing targeted sanctions against Venezuelan officials responsible for violence and political arrests in the wake of anti-government protests earlier this year.
During a sparsely attended Senate session, the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 was passed by voice vote. The bill had been caught in a political tug of war since May when the House passed a similar version of the sanctions.
In a statement, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) applauded the measure and asked her House colleagues to take up the Senate version so “Venezuela’s oppressors will be denied visas to enter the United States and their properties along with their assets will be frozen.”
The Senate bill targets Venezuelan authorities who directed “significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses against persons associated with the anti government protests in Venezuela that began on February 4, 2014.”