Washington said on Friday it would bar two Venezuelan officials accused of “human rights violations” from traveling to the United States. The move is the latest action to pressure Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro into stepping down, Reuters said.

The US State Department said that Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza, the commander of Venezuela’s special forces, and Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala, the chief of counterintelligence, had committed “gross violations of human rights.”

The state department’s move allows it to revoke any visas the two officials, their spouses and minor children may have, and renders them ineligible for travel to the US.

Washington had imposed financial sanctions on the two officials, as well as three other persons, in February.

Tags: ; ;