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Sanctions against Venezuela advance in House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to punish Venezuela’s government for human rights abuses is advancing in Congress over objections from the Obama administration.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee recommended on Friday passage of the bill, which now goes to the full chamber for consideration. Two Democrats voted against it.

The bill orders the Obama administration to ban visas and freeze the assets of Venezuelan officials who violated human rights during anti-government protests that have roiled the South American nation since February.

Similar legislation has been proposed in the Senate but has so far hasn’t advanced out of committee. The State Department’s top diplomat for Latin America told a Senate committee Thursday that now isn’t the appropriate time for sanctions and urged waiting for the outcome of talks between the opposition and the government.

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