The White House announced Sunday further travel restrictions on Venezuelan government officials, as part of a wider crackdown on immigration from countries with high levels of terrorist activity.
In a proclamation signed on Sunday evening, the White House said the Venezuelan government remains “uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public safety threats,” and “fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately.”
The Venezuelan portion of the travel ban, therefore, focuses “on the government officials of Venezuela who are responsible for the inadequacies” as well as “their immediate family members.”
The proclamation also created new travel restrictions for citizens from Chad and North Korea.
In July, the Trump administration froze assets, banned travel, and prohibited Americans from dealing with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro himself in response to the creation of a fraudulent lawmaking body, known as the ‘national constituent assembly,’ filled exclusively with pro-government stooges.
During his speech to the United Nations last week, Trump took aim at the socialist ideology behind Venezuela’s current economic meltdown, which has led to widespread starvation and chronic shortages of resources such as food, medicine, and sanitary products.
“The socialist Maduro regime has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse,” Trump said. “This dictatorship has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation, by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. ”
“The Venezuelan people are starving, and the country is collapsing,” Trump added. “Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. The situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch. As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal. That goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy.”
Trump also held a meeting with Latin American leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where he warned the U.S. is prepared to “take further action” to prevent Venezuela’s democratic collapse. He has previously suggested that he was considering a military solution to the country’s crisis.
“Venezuela is a mess, it is a very dangerous mess, and a very sad situation,” Trump told reporters in July. “We have many options for Venezuela, I’m not ruling out military options.”