Trump threatens to impose blockade, quarantine on Venezuela
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Trump threatens to impose blockade, quarantine on Venezuela

Trump made the comment as he departed the White House for a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday.   Asked by reporters whether he was considering a blockade or quarantine on the Latin American country, Trump said, “Yes, I am.”   The US president did not elaborate or provide details on when or how such a blockade could be imposed.   Moreover, the administration in Washington said on Friday that it would bar two Venezuelan officials from traveling to the United States over accusations of human rights violations.   The US State Department claimed in a statement that the two officials, Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza, the commander of Venezuela's special forces, and Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala, the chief of military counterintelligence, had committed "gross violations of human rights."   The United States imposed financial sanctions on the two officials, as well as three other people, in February.   The Trump administration — which was quick in recognizing Venezuela’s opposition figure Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader earlier this year— has actively been undermining Maduro's government in a bid to replace him with Guaido. It even has not ruled out the use of military force to oust Maduro.   Washington has levied several rounds of sanctions against the country and confiscated Venezuela’s state oil assets based in the US to channel them to Guaido.   Venezuelans are suffering from a lack of basic necessities under US sanctions. According to United Nations statistics, a quarter of Venezuela’s 30-million-strong population is in need of humanitarian aid.   At least 3.3 million people have fled the country since the end of 2015, the data show.   Guaido orchestrated a failed coup against the government on April 30 with backing from Washington. Maduro’s government, however, has not proceeded to arrest Guaido despite the coup attempt.   The elected government of Maduro has been negotiating with Guaido’s representatives to resolve the political crisis in the country.  

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