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US Revokes Visas of 49 Venezuelan Officials, Family Members - State Dept

The US Department of State said Friday it had revoked the visas of 49 individuals aligned with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In particular, the State Department said it was imposing visa restrictions on "individuals responsible for undermining Venezuela’s democracy. We are applying this policy to numerous Maduro-aligned officials and their families. On February 28, we revoked the visas of 49 individuals".

READ MORE: US Imposes New anti-Venezuela Sanctions, Targeting 6 Security Officials

Tensions in Venezuela escalated in late January when Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. The United States immediately recognized Guaido, and a number of its allies followed suit. Maduro has accused Guaido of conspiring with the United States to overthrow the country’s legitimate government.

Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other countries have reaffirmed their support for Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president. The United Nations also still recognizes the Maduro government.

FILE- In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, Delcy Rodriguez, then president of the Constitutional Assembly, gives a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has named Rodriguez, on Thursday, June 14, 2018, as the country's new Vice President, replacing Tareck El Aissami, who will assume a new role as the government’s top economic policy maker - Sputnik International
Venezuela Fell Victim to US Multilateral Aggression - Vice President
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza accused Friday the United States of pressuring countries of the region into making "ridiculous" steps, such as forceful deliveries of Washington-sponsored humanitarian aid to Venezuela, while population in some of these Latin American nations is suffering from own malnutrition issues.

"Mr. [President] Donald Trump not only attacks Venezuela every day, but also pressures a number of countries into making unusual steps, which are actually ridiculous and insulting for their peoples. Long live our America, despite the governments surrendered to imperialism", Arreaza wrote on Twitter.

READ MORE: US Arming 'Liberation Army' in Colombia to Invade Venezuela – Envoy to UN

The statement came after the Venezuelan opposition tried on 23 February to force US-sponsored aid into Venezuela through its borders with Colombia and Brazil, both of which support the opposition. The failed attempt sparked clashes between Venezuelan officers, who prevented trucks from crossing the country's border without permission, and pro-aid protesters. Constitutionally elected Nicolas Maduro denounced the unauthorized aid delivery as part of Washington's attempts to intervene in Venezuela and oust him from power, saying the opposition and longtime US ally Colombia gathered special gangs of bandits at the border.

Venezuela's oil company PDVSA - Sputnik International
Venezuela to Move PDVSA Office to Moscow From Lisbon - Vice President
Two days after the unsuccessful aid deliveries, the meeting of the Lima Group countries — most of which, including Honduras, support the Venezuelan opposition — accused Maduro's government of denial of access to US-sponsored international aid.

Caracas, meanwhile, recalled that under international humanitarian law, humanitarian aid is provided in the event of natural disasters, armed conflicts and war. According to Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, claims about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country are designed to justify the invasion of Venezuela, but the people will not allow this.

READ MORE: Maduro Withdrew 8 Tonnes of Gold From Venezuela's Central Bank — Reports

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