Congress passes bill to sanction Venezuela officials acting against anti-government protesters

Congress has passed and is sending to President Barack Obama legislation directing him to levy sanctions against Venezuelan government officials involved in a crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The Senate passed the bill Monday and the House approved the measure by voice vote Wednesday.

It authorizes sanctions that would freeze the assets and ban visas of individuals accused of perpetrating acts of violence or violating the human rights of those opposing the South American country's socialist government. During the summer, the State Department imposed a travel ban on Venezuelan officials accused of abuses during a months-long street protest movement in the winter and spring that left dozens of people dead.