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Venezuela slams new U.S. travel ban as 'psychological terrorism'

Venezuela slams new U.S. travel ban as 'psychological terrorism'”

US President Donald Trump announced that his government would include Venezuela in its notorious "travel ban" list Sunday, effectively barring a slew of Venezuelan government officials from US territory.

Mr Chavez cooled his rhetoric towards the United States once Barack Obama became USA president in 2009, but with Mr Trump's restrictions and sanctions on Venezuela, the country is making a detour in its approach to Washington.

He was speaking a day after Venezuela was added to a new list of countries targeted by the United States ban, due to what it called poor security and a lack of cooperation with American authorities.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Trump had threatened the Venezuelan people, and that USA economic sanctions were illegal and meant to make people suffer and "undertake non-democratic changes in our system of government".

Citing its reasons for imposing restrictions on Venezuelan officials Sunday, the Trump administration said that Caracas had been "uncooperative" in identifying Venezuelan citizens that "pose national security or public-safety threat", and had failed to "share public safety and terrorism-related information adequately".

In its statement Monday, Venezuela's foreign ministry said it condemns terrorism in all its forms.

He denounced the U.S. for being "the only country who used nuclear weapons against other country and the main violator of human rights, not only in its own territory but throughout the world".

The new restrictions will come into effect on October 18, according to the White House press release. USA officials stressed that valid visas would not be revoked as a result of the new order. Chad, North Korea and Venezuela were not covered by the earlier ban.

The new travel ban prohibits entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on some business and tourism visas.

In the case of Chad, counterterrorism experts raised eyebrows given its close co-operation with the USA against Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Africa.

The infamous list was originally approved via executive order in January 2017 and initially included Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - though Iraq was removed in March 2017.

Chad is the headquarters for a multinational force set up to fight Nigeria-based Boko Haram Islamic extremists.

Sudan was removed after taking such measures, according to a USA official. Sudan was removed from the original list, after recent praise from USA officials for Khartoum's efforts in fighting terrorism.

"Iraq maintains a close partnership with the United States", said one official in a briefing explaining the new regulations. "I only go to the United States if I have to go to the UN, to the OAS", President Nicolas Maduro said, referring to the Organization of American States.

Mr Trump is also preparing a new cap on refugees admissions that will be announced before October 1, USA officials say.



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