Venezuela is one of eight countries listed in the latest travel restrictions by US
Foreign ministry: The United States "seeks to stigmatize our nation"
Venezuela’s government fired back Monday after the Trump administration included the South American country in its latest travel ban.
“These types of lists, it is worth underlining, are incompatible with international law and constitute in themselves a form of psychological and political terrorism,” Venezuela’s foreign ministry said.
Venezuela is one of eight countries included in the latest restrictions, which are slated to go into effect next month.
The White House says the measures aim to protect Americans’ safety “in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime.”
How does Venezuela fit in?
A proclamation signed by US President Donald Trump on Sunday outlines different provisions for each nation on the list.
The new travel ban prohibits entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on some business and tourism visas.
It also states that Venezuelan nationals who are visa holders “should be subject to appropriate additional measures to ensure traveler information remains current.”
Venezuela’s government, the White House said, “is uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats.”
In its statement Monday, Venezuela’s foreign ministry said it condemns terrorism in all its forms.
It accused the United States of “unfriendly and hostile acts,” describing the travel ban as the latest move in a systematic effort by the US to force political change in Venezuela.
The US government, the foreign ministry said, “seeks to stigmatize our nation with the pretext of the fight against terrorism by including it on a list draw up unilaterally in which other states are accused of being alleged promoters of this terrible scourge.”
Tensions on display at UN meeting
The White House has been sharply critical of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s government, calling him a dictator and accusing him of depriving people in the name of socialist ideals.
“The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing,” Trump told the United Nations General Assembly last week.
In August, US officials slapped sanctions on Venezuela after a July 30 vote that allowed Maduro to replace the opposition-dominated National Assembly with a new 545-member Constituent Assembly filled with his supporters. Trump also has said he wouldn’t rule out a military approach to the spiraling crisis, though his top national security aides have downplayed that possibility.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Trump had threatened the Venezuelan people, and that US economic sanctions were illegal and intended to make people suffer and “undertake non-democratic changes in our system of government.”
“Venezuela will always deal with the government of the United States with mutual respect,” he said, “but as a free people we are prepared to defend our sovereignty, our independence, and our democracy under any scenario and in any way.”
CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.