12:15 GMT04 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US State Department has revoked the visas of more than 250 Venezuelan government officials and their family members over their support for President Nicolas Maduro, spokesperson Robert Palladino said during a press briefing on Thursday.

    "To date more than 250 is the number," Palladino said when asked to clarify a recent comment by US Vice President Mike Pence.

    On Wednesday, Pence said the State Department will revoke another 77 visas from individuals with ties to Maduro.

    Palladino noted that the 77 visa revocations mentioned by Pence are included in the more than 250 he mentioned.

    The United States has imposed numerous rounds of sanctions on Venezuela. In January, Washington blocked $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that the US-imposed restrictions were tantamount to illegal seizing of assets.

    READ MORE: US and Opposition Want to Unleash an 'Oil War' to Invade Venezuela — Maduro

    The political crisis in Venezuela escalated in late January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself to be the country's interim president.

    Maduro, who was sworn in for his second presidential term earlier that month, qualified Guaido's move as an attempt to stage a coup orchestrated by Washington.

    The United States immediately recognized Guaido, and 54 of its allies followed suit. Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey and a number of other states have said they consider the Maduro government to be the legitimate authority in Venezuela.


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