Democratic congressmen make a stand against Venezuela sanctions

FOURTEEN Democratic members of Congress voiced their opposition to authorising unilateral US sanctions against Venezuela today.

A Bill before Congress instructs the Obama administration to compile a list of human rights abusers in the Venezuelan government, freeze their assets and ban them from the United States. 

Foreign relations committees in the House and Senate have overwhelmingly approved it, although administration officials are opposed.

They say sanctions risk undermining mediation efforts in Venezuela.

And Democrats led by Michigan Congressman John Conyers wrote a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday backing his administration. 

They also urged an exchange of ambassadors with Venezuela after a four-year hiatus.

In Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro welcomed the Democrat initiative, saying he hoped “there is a bit of wisdom” in Washington.

“Thank you for taking this initiative to try to raise awareness,” he said.

“Any law approved in the US Congress to sanction Venezuela is spurious.”