The latest example of America’s declining global influence has surfaced in Venezuela, where socialist President Nicolas Maduro has announced the arrests of Americans there engaging in espionage with the goal of overthrowing his regime. Along with the arrests come new, stricter policies for American involvement with the oil-rich nation: U.S. embassy personnel will be reduced from 100 to about 20, and visas will be mandatory for all U.S. citizens who seek entry into the country.
What will get the most attention from President Maduro’s announcement on Saturday, however, is news of a “black-list” of Americans who will be never be able to step foot on precious Venezuelan soil again. The move is a reactionary measure in response to the U.S. revoking visas and freezing assets of government officials who have committed human rights atrocities.
Such hated U.S. dignitaries now include former President George W. Bush and his V.P., Dick Cheney, ex. CIA Director George Tenet, Senator Bob Menendez, and Senator Marco Rubio.
Cuban-American Congressman, Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), was also black-listed and had this reaction:
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) February 28, 2015
It is also worth noting that four U.S. missionaries from a North Dakota evangelical church were released on Saturday after being detained earlier in the week. No connection was made by Venezuela’s president between the release of one set of Americans and the arrest of others accused of spying.
[CNN] [Photo courtesy Xinhua/Landov]