United States slaps sanctions on wife of Venezuelan president, other loyalists

Elias Hubbard
September 26, 2018

The Trump administration on Tuesday slapped financial sanctions on four members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle, including his wife and the nation's vice-president, on allegations of corruption.

This combo photo shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle from left to right; his wife and first lady Cilia Flores in Caracas on August 5, 2017, Minister of Communications Jorge Rodriguez in Santo Domingo on December 1, 2017, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow on February 6, 2017, and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez in Caracas on August 8, 2017.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino were among the six people targeted, according to a statement on Tuesday from the U.S. Treasury Department. As part of that action, the agency said it had seized a Florida-based Gulfstream jet worth $20 million that belongs to Sarria.

"President Maduro relies on his inner circle to maintain his grip on power, as his regime systematically plunders what remains of Venezuela's wealth".

"All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone", he said, pointing to the economic disaster in Venezuela. While the country suffered from political instability and a decline in its economy over the past several years, Washington imposed several rounds of sanctions against it and serving officials. In 2017, the Trump administration also imposed financial sanctions that have made it hard for Venezuela to refinance or access more debt.

Hyperinflation running at 200,000 percent, and shortages of basic foods and medicine have led to mass emigration.

Among those companies are Venezuela-based Agencia Vehiculos Especiales Rurales y Urbanos (AVERUCA), Quiana Trading Limited, in the British Virgin Islands, and Panazeate SL, based in Valencia, Spain.

The sanctions came Tuesday as President Trump was set to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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