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Billionaire Chile president bars entry to ‘more than 100’ Venezuelans linked to Maduro govt

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Agence France-Presse

Chile will bar entry to anyone on a list of more than 100 Venezuelans linked to the “dictatorship” of President Nicolas Maduro following a damning UN report, President Sebastian Pinera announced Friday.

“We are going to prohibit the entry into Chile of more than 100 people who are directly linked to the Venezuelan dictatorship,” Pinera told a press conference in Santiago.

He did not specify individuals on the list of those barred, but said: “They are people who are part of the Venezuelan government.”

It was unclear if any high-ranking Venezuelans had tried to enter Chile, which has welcomed more than 400,000 Venezuelans who have fled the country’s economic collapse.

The government recently said it estimates another 300,000 Venezuelans will arrive in the country by next year.

Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia in January banned Maduro and a list of 200 regime “collaborators”, and introduced measures to expel foreigners already in the country who assist the regime. It has also introduced legislation to freeze regime assets in the country.

Pinera’s announcement came in the wake of a UN report that said Venezuelan security services had killed nearly 7,000 people in the past 18 months, many of them likely executions.

“The incidents of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces … have been shockingly high,” the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in the report published Thursday.

Pinera said he would request that Bachelet — his leftist predecessor as Chile’s president — provide “all the background and evidence supporting the report to the International Criminal Court.”

He said the UN document “is a necessary and useful report to be able to face up to the serious and tragic problems that affect Venezuela.”

Pinera, a billionaire conservative, has been one of the harshest critics of Maduro’s socialist government along with Colombia’s Ivan Duque, calling for the end of his “dictatorship” and for fresh elections to be held as soon as possible.

They were among the first international leaders to recognize Maduro’s opposition rival Juan Guaido after the National Assembly leader proclaimed himself interim president in January.

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