BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) The latest on the political crisis in Venezuela:
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is praising the Trump administration for imposing sanctions on eight members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court.
Rubio says in a statement Thursday that the sanctions make it clear to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “and his thugs that their actions are not going to go unpunished.”
The Florida Republican represents the state with the largest number of Venezuelans living in the United States, many of whom strongly oppose Maduro’s socialist government.
Rubio says he hopes President Donald Trump will impose further sanctions in the future.
The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court following a series of rulings that the U.S. says has usurped power from the nation’s opposition-controlled congress and sparked a deadly wave of unrest.
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced Thursday it is freezing the assets of eight Venezuelan government officials on the Supreme Court in an effort to support the Venezuelan people “in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance.”
A ruling issued in late March that stripped Venezuela’s congress of its last powers was later reversed amid a storm of international criticism. But near-daily anti-government protests were triggered by the ruling and have continued across the country, with more than 40 people killed.
The U.S. move marks the second round of sanctions Trump has imposed on high-level Venezuelan officials since taking office.