Venezuela in recent months has witnessed large-scale protests by demonstrators concerned about deteriorating economic, social, and political conditions. Government security forces have responded to these protests in many instances with arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force. We have seen repeated efforts to repress legitimate expression of dissent through judicial intimidation, to limit freedom of the press, and to silence members of the political opposition.
Taking this into consideration and pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State has decided to impose restrictions on travel to the United States by a number of Venezuelan government officials who have been responsible for or complicit in such human rights abuses.
With this step we underscore our commitment to holding accountable individuals who commit human rights abuses. While we will not publicly identify these individuals because of visa record confidentiality, our message is clear: those who commit such abuses will not be welcome in the United States.
We emphasize the action we are announcing today is specific and targeted, directed at individuals responsible for human rights violations and not at the Venezuelan nation or its people.