August 8, 2019 / 4:43 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela may worsen crisis: U.N. rights chief

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet addresses the audience before signing an agreement on the provision of guidance and technical assistance in the Ayotzinapa case, in Mexico City, Mexico April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Cortes/Files

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights chief said on Thursday that the latest unilateral U.S. sanctions on Venezuela were “extremely broad” and she feared they would significantly exacerbate the crisis in terms of people’s access to food and health.

Michelle Bachelet voiced concern that businesses and financial institutions were “likely to err on the side of caution and completely halt transactions relating to the Government of Venezuela”. A political solution was needed, she said in a statement.

Venezuela’s government will skip a round of Norway-brokered talks on Thursday and Friday to protest a new set of U.S. sanctions meant to force President Nicolas Maduro from power, the Venezuelan information ministry said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Frances Kerry

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