Venezuelans protest U.S. sanctions against their country

World Today

U.S. President Barack Obama signed off on sanctions Thursday against Venezuela, an action approved earlier this month by the U.S. Congress. The sanctions target top government officials for alleged human rights abuses during nation-wide anti-government protests earlier this year. CCTV America’s Martin Markovits covered the reaction to the sanctions from Caracas, Venezuela.

Protestors in Caracas express anger over U.S. sanctions, saying it’s the latest show of American disrespect for Venezuela.

Venezuelans protest U.S. sanctions against their country

U.S. President Barack Obama signed off on sanctions Thursday against Venezuela, an action approved earlier this month by the U.S. Congress. The sanctions target top government officials for alleged human rights abuses during nation-wide anti-government protests earlier this year. CCTV America's Martin Markovits covered the reaction to the sanctions from Caracas, Venezuela.

The sanctions freeze assets and deny visas to government officials involved in the crackdown against anti-government protesters earlier this year that left more than 40 people dead, and hundreds more injured and arrested.

“It’s a lack of respect putting sanctions on us. I think we need to gather signatures and send them to them with a photo of a U.S. visa so that they take their visas and put it, the U.S. visa, where they need to put it. Arrogant Yankee imperialists,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a rally to his supporters.

Venezuelan authorities maintain that opposition leaders incited the violence that first erupted in February as part of an orchestrated plan to topple the Socialist government.

President Maduro’s efforts to paint Washington as a meddling bully are resonating among his biggest supporters.

“It’s one more example, it forms part of their practice, they get used to interfering in countries who do not adhere to their wishes,” Anais Machado, a government worker said. “I consider it an interference, what can I say? Again, a chapter that they are writing, to cut short the Venezuelan revolution, but they will not achieve it.”

Despite the protests, many doubt that Venezuela will retaliate against one of its most import trading partners, especially as the country if facing chronic shortages and experiencing the world’s highest inflation rates.

The U.S. buys nearly 30 percent of all Venezuelan oil exports, more than any other country in the world.

“It’s still in the Venezuelan government’s interest to maintain the good commercial relations with the U.S.,” former Venezuelan diplomat Antonio Rodriguez said. “The President may use the diplomatic incident politically, but we won’t see him cross the line with insults because Venezuela is in a very delicate economic state.”