U.S. imposes sanctions on three Venezuelans under drug kingpin rules

by Antonio Miles May 10, 2018, 12:20
U.S. imposes sanctions on three Venezuelans under drug kingpin rules

The U.S. Department of the Treasury placed sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 entities related to drug trafficking Monday.

Maduro frequently warns that the United States will invade Venezuela, but Haley said any change would have to be from Latin American regional pressure. The U.S. also has imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela at a time when it's seeking to refinance a huge global debt.

The action is part of the Trump administration's expanding sanctions campaign against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's cash-strapped Socialist government.

A little-known independent candidate withdrew his bid for Venezuela's presidency on Tuesday to back Henri Falcon, who is the main challenger to incumbent leader Nicolas Maduro.

The U.S. joins the European Union in calling on Venezuela to postpone the May 20 election until there are better assurances that it will be a free and fair democratic contest.

Pence said the USA has already sanctioned more than 50 current and former senior Venezuelan officials and cut off the so-called "petro" digital currency from the USA banking system.

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"Samuel Moncada accuses Mike Pence of an worldwide crime by violating the charters of the OAS and the United Nations in light of his statements at the protocolary meeting of the OAS Permanent Council", the statement released on Monday said.

Pence urged other OAS member countries to help the USA increase pressure on the Maduro regime by cutting off "Venezuela's corrupt leaders from laundering money through your financial systems" and by enacting visa restrictions to block their travel.

Martin exploited his position as a former Chief of Financial Intelligence for Venezuela's National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services and accepted bribes from drug traffickers in Venezuela and Colombia to traffic narcotics through Venezuelan airspace, OFAC said.

The 20 companies - of which 16 are based in Venezuela - were used to launder illicit proceeds from the drug trade, according to the statement. Maduro asked a crowd in a rally on Tuesday in southern Amazonas state, condemning the USA president and vice president for sanctions on his government. The U.S. State Department has said not all political parties have agreed to the elections, limiting the ability of individuals to run. It is the third-largest source of America's imported oil.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The move could deal a further blow to the company's declining oil output and exports.


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