The travel ban that President Donald Trump issued earlier this year was received with much controversy, backlash, and countless protests.
The original ban, also known as Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, placed limits on travel to the U.S. from the following seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for at least 90 days, regardless of whether or not they held valid non-diplomatic visas, and by all refugees who didn’t possess either a visa or valid travel documents. After several court rulings and revisions, the former ban was superseded by Executive Order 1378,0 which expired this past Sunday.
The ban has since then been replaced with a similar one which now includes: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The new proclamation titled: ENHANCING VETTING CAPABILITIES AND PROCESSES FOR DETECTING ATTEMPTED ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES BY TERRORISTS OR OTHER PUBLIC-SAFETY THREATS, was released on Sunday. Different from the previous ban, the new one lists specific restrictions on who is and who isn’t allowed access into the U.S., in particular for the people of Venezuela.
The proclamation issued by President Trump states the following reason as to why Venezuela is now a part of the list: “Venezuela has adopted many of the baseline standards identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security and in section 1 of this proclamation, but its government is uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats. Venezuela's government fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion, and has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.”
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, responded to the action taken by U.S. government with a statement in which he stated: “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the irrational decision of the Government of the United States of America to once again catalog the noble Venezuelan people as a threat to their national security…’ Arreaza continued, ‘in reaffirming its principled position regarding the condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, denounces in front of the international community the unfriendly and hostile actions of the Government of the United States of America, which seek to stigmatize us under the pretext of combating terrorism… These types of lists, worth emphasizing, are incompatible with international law and constitute in themselves a form of psychological and political terrorism.”
Although according to the proclamation the ban doesn’t affect the general public of Venezuela, it does include many of the officials of the Venezuelan federal government, along with their immediate families, as well as Ministry of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Service Corps; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service; and the Ministry of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations, have all been denied entry into the U.S.
As per the travel ban, officials from these agencies and their immediate family members have had their business and/or tourist visas suspended, restricting them access into the U.S. effective as of October 18th, 2017.