Venezuela in Trump’s Travel Ban: An Explainer

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President Donald Trump’s inclusion of Venezuela in his new travel ban is a little odd. After a worldwide review, the US government concluded that eight countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen) had “inadequate” identity-management protocols, information-sharing practices and risk factors. For all countries but one Venezuela the U.S. has restricted entry of immigrants.

Trump’s proclamation acknowledges that the Venezuelan government has embraced “many” of the minimum standards required. Still, its justification for Venezuela’s inclusion is threefold. First, a lack of cooperation from the regime in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats. Second, its failure to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately. And third, the revolution’s unhelpfulness in receiving Venezuelans subject to deportation from the U.S.

After recognizing that the U.S. government has alternative means to verify the citizenship and identity of Venezuelan nationals, the proclamation only imposes restrictions on government officials “responsible for the inadequacies”. Consequently, it bans entry into the US (starting October 18th) of those officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business or tourist visas (B1/B2).

The U.S. government could have barred entry of Venezuelan officials without incurring in such a designation.

The proclamation also states that Venezuelan nationals who are visa holders will be subject to additional measures to ensure that traveler information remains current. Although the precise extent of this determination is not yet clear, this could mean that the process through which Venezuelans obtain or renew the U.S. visa will get more cumbersome.

Overall, it is odd that the U.S. included Venezuela in such a “select list, especially when such designation could eventually make travel a lot harder to every person holding a Venezuelan passport. After all, the other countries have “substantial terrorist presence” (Chad, Libya, and Somalia), are the source of significant terrorist threats (Iran, Yemen), sponsor terrorism (Syria), or are threatening nuclear war (North Korea).

Why didn’t the US government expressly point out any links between the Venezuelan regime and terrorism, as it did with other countries? Including Venezuela in the list implies that its government is involved in serious criminal activities that may affect all its citizens. If the purpose was to exert political pressure in response to the ongoing crisis, the U.S. government could have barred entry of Venezuelan officials without incurring in such a designation.

In any case, the decision reveals how Venezuela is increasingly becoming one of the main foreign policy concerns for Donald Trump’s administration. The inclusion in the travel ban exposes the likelihood that the U.S. will continue to use every tool at its disposal to seek a change in Maduro’s regime. Even if doing so can significantly impact all Venezuelans.

25 COMMENTS

  1. No, it’s just to make an excuse in saying that this isn’t a travel ban. North Korea and Venezuela are there just to mess up with the supreme court.

  2. I’ve often wondered about the lack of repercussions to the selling of Venezuelan passports in the middle east, the issuing of passports to non Venezuelan citizens, the Damascus round trip flights, the support of terroristic states and so on. Maybe this is a consequence from years of bad behaviour. If so, it’s not a very strong one.

    • exactly, Venezuela got years getting involve in shady bussiness with different terrorist groups and shady individuals in the middle east, considering that El Aissami is know worldwide as a legit member of Hezbolla this was coming from a mile away

  3. “The inclusion in the travel ban exposes the likelihood that the U.S. will continue to use every tool at its disposal to seek a change in Maduro’s regime. Even if doing so can significantly impact all Venezuelans.”

    We don’t live in a vacuum. To effect change in a few, at times the many feel the brunt of these sort of sanctions. These sanctions are symbolic (as things “government sanctions” tend to be) for the intended targets. It is the little people that feel the brunt.

    I guess Delcy is going to have to get her expensive handbags on Bond Street and Tarek will have to find his bespoke suits on Savile Row, instead of in New York or Miami.

  4. To the contrary, the cunt should die an agonizing death, eaten alive by her cancer while her family searches fruitlessly across Venezuela for the drugs she needs to save her life.

    • The Chavistas have enough mules to get anything into the country. If they have to find a true believer with cancer to smuggle the chemotherapy drugs back in for Tiby, it will be done. Chavismo has at its beck and call the finest physicians that Bolivarian Socialism can afford. Fly them in, or fly her there. Doesn’t matter.

      My sincerest hope is that Tiby gets the same Cuban “doctors” treating her that used to infest the Barrio Adentros… before they deserted for non payment of wages.

      But, it never will happen. Our schadenfreude will have to wait another day!

  5. Just short of ungrateful in my view….sorry the help did not perfectly suit your needs but how many other countries other than the US and now Canada have done anything but bloviate…the smart thing is to graciously accept any help you get from anyone…very offputting.

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