UN rights chief: US sanctions could deepen Venezuelan crisis

The United Nation's high commissioner for human rights says recent U.S. sanctions that are aimed to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threaten to deep the nation's crisis.

Commissioner Michelle Bachelet told the Human Rights Council of the U.N. on Wednesday that U.S. measures targeting Venezuela's state-run oil company could have repercussions on people's basic rights and wellbeing.

The Trump administration is among some 50 nations around the world that back opposition leader Juan Guaido, who seeks to oust Maduro.

The U.S. has sanctioned Maduro and dozens in his administration since 2017. In late January, the U.S. Treasury targeted PDVSA, aimed at depriving Maduro of billions in hard cash.

Maduro says the U.S. is leading a coup aimed at stealing the world's largest oil reserves, which Venezuela possesses.