Venezuela Opposition Leader Says His Passport Annulled to Block Trip to UN

The protest in Caracas.

Anti-government protesters stand around burning tires serving as a road barricade, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Protests at the homes and businesses of officials or ex-officials with links to Chavismo - the left-wing ideology created by Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez - are broadcast on social media via accounts dedicated to promoting the harassment of those individuals living overseas. The protest in Caracas comes after a tumultuous 24 hours.

The Trump administration plans to impose new sanctions soon on Venezuelan individuals for alleged human rights violations amid US concern over the Venezuelan government's crackdown on unrest, congressional aides said on Thursday.

Earlier that month, a bipartisan letter from U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Senator Bob Menendez and 32 other lawmakers called on Trump to sanction Venezuelan officials who have allegedly profited from the country's chronic food shortages. In February, the United States blacklisted Venezuela n Vice President Tareck El Aissami for alleged links to drug trafficking.

Over 40 people have been killed during protests that have been sweeping across Venezuela since April 4.

"The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government's mismanagement and corruption", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

As it was live-twitted by Delcy Rodriguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. "The global community needs to say "respect the human rights of your people" or this is going to go in the direction we've seen so many others go".

Trump's administration has repeatedly raised concerns that Maduro is moving toward one-party, authoritarian rule.

Perez Wednesday said Maduro had been given assurances by Stuart that "he will never act against the Venezuelan people".

"In the recent past they had discussions about the two countries and the president [gave] the reasons why things are happening in Venezuela and the Honourable Freundel Stuart heard what he was saying", Perez said. How is that possible?

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress in 2016. Even though they no longer sit in congress, the court said parliamentary leaders had not handled their case legally.

In March, the Venezuelan Supreme Court temporarily dissolved the National Assembly and assumed the powers of the legislature.

Venezuelans have organized large protests against the government nationwide since the Supreme Court, controlled by Maduro's socialist party, attempted to nullify the existence of the National Assembly and name itself the federal legislative body.