U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials

A woman walks past graffiti in CaracasBy Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declared Venezuela a national security threat on Monday and ordered sanctions against seven officials from the oil-rich country in the worst bilateral diplomatic dispute since socialist President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama signed and issued the executive order, which senior administration officials said did not target Venezuela’s energy sector or broader economy.