BOGOTA, Colombia (CBSMiami/AP) — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is hoping more newly elected Republicans will help push efforts to improve sanctions on Venezuelan officials who commit human rights abuses.

The Florida Republican is a sponsor of legislation targeting Venezuela’s socialist government that has been stalled since clearing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May with bipartisan support. A similar version has passed the U.S. House.

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Rubio spoke Wednesday in Colombia’s capital a day after Republicans’ won control of the Senate. While welcoming the Obama administration’s decision to impose a travel ban on senior Venezuelan officials who helped quell anti-government demonstrations earlier this year, Rubio said more action is needed to punish President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

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“I hope we can achieve something much stronger,” Rubio said.

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