Bad news for our dear gringo friends, particularly those who have a death wish and were planning to travel to Venezuela in the near future: the Maduro administration will require US citizens to apply for (tourist) visas before entering Venezuelan territory.
This measure is part of a (sort of) diplomatic retaliation package thoroughly crafted by Nicolas Maduro to get back to the US for humiliating Venezuelan government officials with their sanctions and supposed meddling in the affairs of the Bolivarian Republic. In his announcement he also cited espionage, conspiracy, and other reasons copy/pasted from the script. As he reminded us, Nicolas Maduro knows of “these things” (reciprocity?) since he was in charge of Venezuelan foreign policy for many years.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Visa requirement for Americans who wish to travel to the country with the second worst tourism numbers in the region. The cost will be equivalent to what Venezuelans have to pay in the US embassy to get their visas. Plus some tortuous Cadivi-like process, I’m sure, although details are yet to be announced.
- Reducing the number of US officials working at the embassy in Venezuela. According to Maduro, the Venezuelan embassy in DC only has 17 people, while the US has over 100 people in their Caracas premises.
- All meetings of US officials in Venezuela must be duly notified to the Venezuelan authorities.
- Sanctions to some US officials and politicians who will not be able to enter the country. The President said these individuals have been charged (?) with conspiracy, violation of human rights, and, of course, terrorism.
The list includes some US officials that have been active denouncing violation of Human Rights in Venezuela like Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez, and some celebrities who just want to party such as George W. Bush.
W? Why yes, W. He’ll be shunned from the Bush family fishing trips to Los Roques and Amazonas.
Touché, Mr. President.