Venezuela has accused US President Donald Trump of conducting “political terrorism” through travel restrictions on eight countries including the socialist-run South American nation, which is already at loggerheads with Washington.
Trump on Sunday announced the restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding earlier travel bans that Trump says are necessary to fight terrorism but have been derided by critics and courts.
“It is worth pointing out that these types of lists are incompatible with international law, and constitute a form of psychological and political terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Our people are being sanctioned because of their pacifist nature as well as their tolerance and respect for different religions and beliefs,” it added.
The statement said Venezuela will “consider all necessary measures to protect national interests and sovereignty,” without providing details on how it would respond.
The restrictions relating to Venezuela focus on officials who have been determined to have done an inadequate job verifying whether citizens pose national security or public safety threats.
Washington this year has issued several rounds of sanctions against Venezuelan officials, partly in response to the creation of a legislative superbody called the Constituent Assembly that critics call the consolidation of a dictatorship.
President Nicolas Maduro has called those sanctions a financial blockade against the country, which is grappling with triple-digit inflation and chronic product shortages as its economy unravels.
The claims come on the same day that Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza said Trump acted like “the world’s emperor” at the UN General Assembly.
Last week, Trump told the assembly Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was running a “corrupt regime.” Maduro responded from Caracas by calling Trump “the new Hitler” of international politics.