US Treasury sanctions Venezuelan leader's top aide Cabello

Federico Mansilla
May 21, 2018

The "second most powerful man in Venezuela", Diosdado Cabello, immediately brushed aside the accusations and new United States sanctions introduced against him for allegedly heading a drug ring. Alert with these people, ' Maduro said last night.

The action against Cabello, second-in-command of the ruling United Socialist party, comes just ahead of elections scheduled for Sunday.

"Through trustworthy intelligence sources we have knowledge of a plan by the Maduro regime, in progress since the end of a year ago, to give identifications to Colombian citizens and transport them to vote in the May 20 elections", Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a televised address.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said it had imposed sanctions on Diosdado Cabello Rondon, Jose David Cabello Rondon, Marleny Josefina Contreras Hernandez and Rafael Alfredo Sarria Diaz.

The U.S. Treasury announced on Friday that it has imposed sanctions on an influential Venezuelan political figure, three persons related to him and his alleged "corruption network".

The three companies, 11420 Corp., Noor Plantation Investments LLC and SAI Advisors Inc. are all based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Cabello's brother, Jose David, meanwhile accused the USA of aiming to "divert the attention of the world", from the strong support the ruling party has going into Sunday's election.

US Treasury sanctions Venezuelan leader's top aide Cabello
US Treasury sanctions Venezuelan leader's top aide Cabello

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

This is far from the first time that Washington has "supported" ordinary Venezuelans by introducing punitive measures against their officials and companies.

The United States has been stepping up pressure on the South American country by imposing a string of sanctions on its senior officials.

"There will be no real election in Venezuela on May 20, and the world knows it", US Vice-President Mike Pence said earlier in May, urging the Venezuelan leader to suspend the vote.

"The Venezuelan people suffer under corrupt politicians who tighten their grip on power while lining their own pockets", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a written statement.

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