Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Legislative Summit, co-hosted by The Latino Coalition and Job Creators Network, in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

US to revoke more visas of Venezuelans to pressure Maduro

March 06, 2019 - 3:02 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the U.S. will revoke more visas from prominent Venezuelans as it seeks to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to give up power.

Pence told the Latino Coalition that the U.S. will revoke 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or their relatives.

The U.S. revoked 49 visas last week and has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions as part of a campaign to force Maduro to turn over power to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The U.S. and more than 50 governments recognize Guaido as interim president. They say Maduro wasn't legitimately re-elected last year because opposition candidates weren't permitted to run.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton warned Wednesday that financial institutions "will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network."

Pence referred to the Venezuelan crisis while making the case for the re-election of President Donald Trump in 2020 as a way to counteract policies —which he described as socialist— supported by Democrats.

"All of us need to say with one voice: America will never be a socialist country," Pence told the conservative Latino business owners gathered in Washington for the Latino Coalition annual event.

Pence said when Democrats support policy proposals such as "Medicare-for-all" and the Green New Deal —an ambitious plan to address global climate change— they "are embracing the same economic theories that have impoverished nations."

Pence also defended the decision for Trump to declare a national emergency to fund a wall at the southern border.

"Every day we don't secure our border we are allowing the crisis to worsen and more lives to be in danger," he said.

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Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo

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