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US congressional panel backs Venezuela sanctions

Protesters demonstrate in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2014, urging US President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters in VenezuelaA US congressional panel passed a bill that would impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters in Venezuela. The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s vote was met with applause from dozens of people who traveled to Washington from several US cities to pressure lawmakers, the White House, and the Organization of American States to take action against the crackdown. At least 42 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured since students and other opponents of President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government took to the streets in February to protest rampant crime, runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods. Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a Republican, was optimistic about the bill’s prospects of passage by the full House.

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