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

FILE PHOTO: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet holds a news conference at Centro Cultural Espana in downtown Mexico City, Mexico April 9, 2019 REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

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