U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that he would support sanctions against Venezuelan officials determined to be responsible for human rights abuses.
At an event before the Las Vegas Latino community, Reid explained that the kinds of sanctions he would support could include asset freezes and travel bans for any Venezuelan official found to have violated human rights.
Reid also said that he believes that Maduro does not have the same “aptitudes” for rule as Chavez did.
While any such sanctions are still far from becoming law, Reid has become the highest-ranked member of the U.S. government to voice his support for the hypothetical sanctions.
Daniel Ceballos (Other) Trial: Next Phase Will Be Decided Tomorrow
A judge will render a ruling tomorrow, deciding whether or not Daniel Ceballos will go to trial for allegedly helping to incite the violence against the government that has rocked the country since February 12.
Juan Carlos Gutierrez, one of Ceballo’s lawyers, said:
The Attorney General’s accusation is not admissible neither in form nor in content, because there are no elements demonstrating that Ceballos, with his simple messages, is involved with the revolt against the government.
Ceballos is currently serving a 12 month prison sentence for, among other charges, failing to stop the protests in San Cristobal, the city of which he was mayor. This latest charge stems from an accusation that he is somehow responsible for inciting the violence that has spread across the country since February 12.
Government Has Yet To Pay 90% of Medical Debt
Cristino Garcia, the executive director of the Asociacion Venezolana de Clinicas y Hospitales [Venezuelan Association of Clinics and Hospital] made it known today that out of the $920 million that the government owes to foreign medical supply providers, only $148 million has been paid.
Garcia said that the amount of medical supplies the government is able to import is not enough to help alleviate the scarcity crisis, which far from only affecting foodstuffs, also includes medical supplies. Garcia said:
We’re talking about around 10% of the total debt distributed between the providers of raw materials and supplies, and medical equipment.
In other words, the sum that the government has been able to pay back to date is scarcely enough to make a dent in the severe shortages the medical industry is suffering from. Earlier this month, it was revealed that some supplies – including medication for hypertension – is over 50% scarce in the country.
Finally, some pictures from around the country today.
A barricade, made up of garbage bags, blocks a road. Allegedly from the Bello Monte neighbourhood of Caracas:
A similar barricade, this one in San Cristobal, Tachira:
Friends and family of Ana Karina Garcia (a student leader and member of the Voluntad Popular opposition party) wait for her outside of the SEBIN headquarters in Caracas, where she is currently being interrogated:
Buses block traffic on a road. Allegedly from Barquisimeto: