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Trump bars high-ranking Maduro loyalists from entry to US

September 25, 2019 GMT
President Donald Trump speaks during a multilateral meeting on Venezuela at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a multilateral meeting on Venezuela at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to further isolate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro by prohibiting high-ranking loyalists from entering the U.S.

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Wednesday barring top Maduro government and military officials from entry to the U.S.

The travel suspension is designed to target those who are “responsible for policies or actions that threaten Venezuela’s democratic institutions.”

The U.S. Treasury Department has already sanctioned and frozen any U.S. assets of many of those who would fall under the no-entry list.

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The Trump administration has been steadily increasing pressure on Maduro to step down by issuing potentially crippling economic sanctions.

Trump is recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful president and urging the international community to join in exacting diplomatic and economic pressure on Maduro to abandon power.