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American politicians hail travel ban by Venezuela's socialist President Maduro

| Sunday, March 1, 2015, 8:39 p.m.

CARACAS — Conservative U.S. politicians banned from traveling to Venezuela by socialist President Nicolas Maduro are taking the restriction as a badge of honor.

Maduro laid out a series of measures against U.S. diplomats and tourists Saturday night, including a promise to limit the size of the embassy in Caracas and impose a tourist visa requirement.

Maduro also made a list of conservative U.S. officials who would be barred from entering Venezuela. He named former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and several congressmen.

“They can't come to Venezuela because they're terrorists,” Maduro said before a crowd that gathered to protest imperialism. “Out of here, terrorists.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida said on Twitter that she was proud to be listed among such “good company.” Another Florida Republican, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, responded with faux disappointment.

“I've always wanted to travel to a corrupt country that is not a free democracy. And now Castro's lapdog won't let me!” he wrote on Twitter.

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