"The unrest last spring left more than 40 people dead, hundreds injured, and dozens jailed, including opposition leader, Leopoldo López, who had rallied thousands of Venezuelans. While the strife in the streets has largely subsided, many US lawmakers still favor stronger action against the Venezuelan government.
"The timing is perplexing," admits Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "Yet the pressure to act [from Washington and the international community] is ongoing."
The sanctions may ease congressional pressure on the Obama administration, but some observers warn that it could still backfire."
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