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High-profile activists slam US, Canadian sanctions on Venezuela

US philosopher Noam Chomsky and Hollywood star Danny Glover joined other activists on Friday in condemning US and Canadian sanctions on Venezuela's socialist government, saying they hurt the poor and torpedoed political reconciliation.
The two high-profile activists were among 154 signatories of an open letter to the Washington and Ottawa governments urging them to reconsider recent measures to pressure President Nicolas Maduro's administration.
The United States and Canada have slapped individual sanctions on a handful of Venezuelan officials, including Maduro, over accusations of corruption, democratic abuses and human rights violations.
The measures include freezing assets and preventing US and Canadian nationals from dealing with them. The US government has also imposed financial measures, intended to stop Venezuela from contracting new debt, and is considering oil sanctions.
While critics say sanctions are aimed only at Venezuela's"dictatorship", Maduro says they are part of an international right-wing conspiracy intended to topple him and take control of the OPEC nation's oil wealth.