Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury Monday, Feb. 13, on allegations he is at the center of an global drug trafficking operation with links to several cartels and drug lords.
The US Treasury said the new sanctions were part of a multi-year investigation and unrelated to El Aissami's recent promotion to vice president.
Mr El Aissami had previously been named by Venezuela's top convicted drug trafficker, Walid Makled, who said he had paid bribes through the now Vice President's brother to officials so they would turn a blind eye to cocaine shipments.
On Twitter, El Aissami said the sanctions were a badge of honor. That, they said, "is extremely troubling given his alleged ties to drug trafficking and terrorist organizations".
The Trump administration imposed financial sanctions against Venezuela's executive vice president on Monday after being investigated for years for money laundering and drug trafficking.
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She has a position in a propaganda and agitation department in the committee and is known as Kim Jong Un's gatekeeper, Gause said. Interestingly, his half-brother, the current North Korea leader, was also educated in Switzerland but developed no such opinions.
El Aissami's USA assets were frozen and he'll be barred from entering the United States under the "Kingpin Act".
The sanctions were not a reaction, the official said, to the appointment in January of El Aissami to the Venezuelan vice presidency. She's also asking officials to sanction Venezuelan judges behind "unwarranted incarcerations" and "human rights violations" on the sanctions list. "The truth is invincible and we will see how this infamous aggression will fade", El Aissami tweeted Tuesday.
President Trump spoke with the presidents of Colombia and Peru Monday and the readouts of the call say that Trump is "concerned" about the situation in Venezuela. In recent years, the White House had tried to use behind-the-scenes diplomacy to ease tensions with the Venezuelan government in the aftermath of a series of United States drug indictments against Venezuelan officials, including Interior Minister Nestor Reverol. At least according to U.S. officials.
The question is whether President Nicolás Maduro - and Venezuela's fractured political opposition - are ready for that.
The Treasury Department said that it is set its sights on an worldwide drug network spanning the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Britain, the United States and Venezuela.