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US Preparing to List Venezuela as State Sponsor of Terrorism - Reports

© REUTERS / Carlos Garcia RawlinsProtesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration is getting ready to add Venezuela to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, The Washington Post newspaper reported, citing US officials and internal government emails.

The newspaper said that US officials and the Department of State declined to comment on the pending decision. However, the Washington Post noted that the State Department had recently asked for feedback on the proposed decision from agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Agency for International Development.

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The list is reportedly reserved for authorities accused of repeatedly providing "support for acts of international terrorism" and includes only Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

Washington has long been opposing Maduro's policy and has introduced numerous sanctions against Caracas.

On November 1, Trump informed the US lawmakers that he had signed an executive order to impose sweeping new sanctions on Venezuela's gold exports. Trump said that the measure came in response to the efforts of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's government to plunder his country's wealth for their own "corrupt purposes."

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For years, Venezuela has been living in a state of a political and economic crisis, which was worsened by a decline in oil prices and sanctions introduced by the United States.

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Millions of Venezuelans have been seeking refuge, mostly in neighboring Latin American countries. According to the estimates of the United Nations, a total of three million people have left Venezuela, with around 2.4 million of them residing across Latin America and the Caribbean, including more than one million in Colombia.

The situation is reportedly exacerbated by food shortages and malnutrition, with around 80 percent of Venezuelan households suffering from food insecurity.

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