United States sanctions Venezuela socialist boss for drug trafficking

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Maduro said the factory would now be "producing with the industrial working class".

The Trump administration renewed its efforts to pressure the government of President Nicolas Maduro by sanctioning former National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello Rondon and three other Venezuelans, accusing them of involvement in drug trafficking, money laundering, and embezzlement.

In statements to the state-owned Venezolana de Television, the president called on the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the people to keep up with the pretensions of extreme-right sectors that pretend to sabotage the Sunday elections.

The Treasury Department said that it was also imposing sanctions on Mr. Cabello's brother, José David Cabello, 49, who runs the government agency in charge of customs and taxation, and Diosdado Cabello's wife, Marleny Josefina Contreras Hernández, 57, the minister of tourism. The Trump administration also froze the assets of Rafael Sarria, who the Treasury Department said is Cabello's main frontman, and three Boca Raton, Florida-companies he is linked to as well as 14 properties belonging to him or his companies in Florida and NY.

Besides drug trafficking, Cabello has also been accused of abusing his power and influence to "personally profit from extortion, money laundering, and embezzlement", as well as illegal mineral exports.

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

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".

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