United States hits 4 Venezuelans, 3 Florida-based companies with fresh sanctions

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 21, 2018

The US has applied every effort ahead of the May 20 elections to taint the reputation of Maduro and the ruling Socialist Party.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on four Venezuelan nationals and three Florida-based companies on Friday in the latest move meant to put pressure on Caracas.

It also imposed sanctions on his brother, Jose David Cabello, accusing him of "extorting money for personal gains", and Marleny Josefina Contreras, who heads the country's tourism institute and is married to Diosdado Cabello. Washington also went on to impose punitive measures against three companies in Florida that are allegedly owned or controlled by Sarria, blocking 14 properties in Florida and NY.

The humanitarian situation in Venezuela has become increasingly dire amid soaring inflation and shortages of food and medicine.

The United States has already imposed sanctions against Maduro for human rights abuses and blamed him for Venezuela's current economic and political crises. "The Venezuelan people suffer under corrupt politicians who tighten their grip on power while lining their own pockets", said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, echoing Pence's comments on Friday.

In a statement, Maduro's government called the sanctions part of "a systematic campaign of aggression" by President Donald Trump's administration and said they had no legal base.

In April, Vice President Pence announced that the USA would give almost $16 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to assist Venezuelans, who have fled to Colombia and Brazil.

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