- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2019

The U.S. is preparing to slap additional sanctions on financial institutions supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that the U.S. is “going to expand the net” of sanctions and visa restrictions on Mr. Maduro’s inner circle, their families and supportive companies as part of a campaign to drive the socialist president from power and install opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim leader.

“There will be more sanctions on financial institutions that are carrying out orders from Maduro’s regime… stealing money and hiding it around the world,” Mr. Abrams said.

Last week, the U.S. imposed “dozens” of new visa restrictions and sanctions on top officials of the Maduro regime and their families and on six Venezuelan security officials who have allegedly participated in obstructing international aid into the country.

Mr. Abrams explained to the committee that “every time” the U.S. imposes new sanctions on a person or institutions, it is noted that “all visa revocations are reversible.” He did not detail the path toward reversing a visa revocation but said the U.S. has a plan in place.

U.S. has provided “nearly $200 million” in aid to the country that is facing a humanitarian crisis, economic hardship and political repression under Mr. Maduro’s regime, Mr. Abrams said.

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