Latin America & Caribbean

US travel ban is psychological terrorism - Venezuela

Venezuela"s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the new expanded travel ban

Venezuela has accused the US of "psychological terrorism" after it imposed travel restrictions on some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

The foreign ministry said travel bans like the one announced on Sunday were incompatible with international law.

The ban on eight countries includes Venezuela for the first time.

US President Donald Trump said the countries on the list had "inadequate" security protocols.

Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen are all now subject to US travel bans.

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Media captionVenezuelan Vice-President Tareck El Aissami calls the US travel ban "a trophy" for a "subversive people"

In regards to Venezuela, President Trump said its government had failed to share "public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately".

"I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people," he said in a presidential proclamation issued on Sunday.

The statement by the Venezuelan foreign minister [in Spanish] called the decision "irrational".

Venezuela and the US have had tense relations for years.

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Media captionPresident Maduro wants to talk to President Trump

They have further deteriorated in the past months as the US imposed sanctions on more than a dozen top Venezuelan officials, including President Nicolás Maduro over what it called Venezuela's "democratic failures".

Any assets they held in the US were frozen and US entities were banned from doing business with them.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called President Maduro "a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people",

The US is not the only country to have imposed sanctions on Venezuela.

Last week, Canada published a list of 40 Venezuelan officials whose assets it said it would freeze.

The Venezuelan government has also been criticised by many of its Latin American neighbours as well as the European Union for going ahead with a controversial constituent assembly.

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