The United States continues to unleash sanctions against Maduro regime officials and their allies, going as far as to target the Cuban leadership in its latest round of action today.
Yesterday, the White House issued an order banning top-ranking regime officials and their relatives from visiting the United States. The ban affects the 545 members of the Constituent Assembly, a pseudo-legislature created by Maduro in 2017 to rubber-stamp his agenda. The travel ban is also extended to members’ relatives, as well as to police and military officers above the rank of colonel.
In total, the travel ban affects thousands of individuals.
Speaking on the reasoning for the action, United States president Donald Trump said:
To combat the malice, corruption of both the Venezuelan and Iranian dictatorship, today I issued proclamations suspending the entry into the United States of senior regime officials and their families.
The White House followed yesterday’s move with one today, this time targeting Cuba’s Raul Castro and some of his relatives. With today’s sanctions, Castro and his four children are banned from traveling to the United States.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of the sanctions against Castro:
Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression.
According to Reuters, the measure against the Castros appears to be largely symbolic, as none of them is known to travel to the United States with any kind of frequency:
The measures that Pompeo said would block their entry to the United States are likely to have limited impact. Castro last visited in 2015 to address the United Nations General Assembly. His children are also believed to have rarely traveled to the United States. Mariela Castro Espin, a gay rights activist, made stops in New York and San Francisco in 2012.
Ecuador to Conduct Census on Venezuelan Migrants
The government of Ecuador has announced that it will conduct a census on Venezuelan migrants in that country, starting today. The census will be conducted through an online platform on which migrants are asked details about their arrival in Ecuador, along with family and medical information. The website will be available through March 31 2020.
Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno said that the census was necessary to ensure those who wish to can begin the process of applying for permanent residence in the country.
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