U.N. Says U.S. Sanctions Could Worsen Crisis In Venezuela

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U.N. Says U.S. Sanctions Could Worsen Crisis In Venezuela
The U.N.'s top rights official warned that the sanctions could have a ​“potentially severe impact on the human rights of the people of Venezuela".
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The United Nations' top human rights official says the U.S.' new sanctions on Venezuela could have a "potentially severe impact on the human rights of the people of Venezuela."

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet cautioned Thursday that the sanctions imposed earlier this week are "extremely broad" and don't contain measures to "mitigate their impact on the most vulnerable sectors of the population."

Bachelet wrote, "There is a significant body of evidence showing that wide-ranging unilateral sanctions can end up denying people's fundamental human rights, including their economic rights as well as the rights to food and health."

That could be particularly damaging in Venezuela, which has faced food shortages and inflation so severe that many residents have fled to neighboring countries.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Venezuela. They include a freeze on all Venezuelan government employees' U.S. assets and a ban on financial transactions, with some exceptions.

In a letter to Congress explaining his actions, President Trump wrote, "I have determined that it is necessary to block the property of the Government of Venezuela in light of the continued usurpation of power by the illegitimate Nicolás Maduro regime."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.