World

Venezuelans protest US sanctions in government-sponsored 'anti-imperialist' march

  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, surrounded by bodyguards, shakes hands with supporters during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, surrounded by bodyguards, shakes hands with supporters during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro cheer for him during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro cheer for him during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, right, and his wife Cilia Flores greets supporters upon their arrival for a speech during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, right, and his wife Cilia Flores greets supporters upon their arrival for a speech during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Thousands of government supporters and public employees marched in opposition to sanctions the U.S. Congress targeted at a group of Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations and to commemorate the 15 years of the adoption of the new Venezuelan Constitution. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

Supporters of the Venezuelan government have marched in the streets of the nation's capital to protest sanctions that US lawmakers approved last week.

The South American country's socialist government called Monday's march to protest the move by the US Congress and mark the 15-year anniversary of Venezuela's constitution.

The proposed sanctions would freeze the assets and ban visas of people accused of violating the human rights of Venezuelan government critics. The legislation was introduced in the spring amid a violent crackdown on anti-government street protests. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

Thousands of Venezuelans marched bearing signs with slogans such as "respect Venezuela" and "Yankee go home." The demonstration culminated in a speech by President Nicolas Maduro.