New US travel ban 'psychological terrorism': Venezuela

New US travel ban 'psychological terrorism': Venezuela

Citing its reasons for imposing restrictions on Venezuelan officials Sunday, the Trump administration said that Caracas had been "uncooperative" in identifying Venezuelan citizens that "pose national security or public-safety threat", and had failed to "share public safety and terrorism-related information adequately".

The foreign ministry statement said the ban was seeking to "stigmatise" Venezuela "under the pretext of combating terrorism, by including it in a unilaterally drawn-up list and accusing other states of being alleged promoters of this awful scourge".

The United States imposed sanctions that day on President Maduro and more than two dozen other former and current Venezuelan officials.

Venezuela has hit back at the USA after Donald Trump added the South American country to its travel ban list.

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

The travel ban is a new act of "aggression" against the country, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday.

In its statement Monday, Venezuela's foreign ministry said it condemns terrorism in all its forms.

These new travel restrictions came only two days after Canada announced that it is sanctioning 40 Venezuelan officials, including President Nicolás Maduro, Vice President Tareck El Aissami, Diosdado Cabello and President of the National Electoral Council Tibisay Lucena.

While delivering a speech at the General Assembly earlier that day, Arreaza accused Trump of using the United Nations as a stage to "declare war", completely disregarding the mission of the worldwide body.

According to the latest order, the "entry into the United States of nationals of the following countries is hereby suspended and limited, as follows, subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers".

At least 125 people were killed in months of clashes and protests in Venezuela earlier this year.

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

In the case of Chad, counterterrorism experts raised eyebrows given its close co-operation with the USA against Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Africa.

If the countries that have relations with the United States, such as Chad, Libya and Yemen, take appropriate measures to address the US's concerns then they could be removed from the list, according to the order. Iraq was on the original first list in February but later removed despite lapses in document-authentication and intelligence sharing, according to USA officials. But he says: "If we are attacked, we will respond in the same field".



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