Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Venezuela accuses United States of sabotaging election with new sanctions

ImageGovernment workers at a rally for President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas Venezuela’s ImageGovernment workers at a rally for President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas Venezuela’s
Frank Williams | 21 May, 2018, 17:30

The "second most powerful man in Venezuela", Diosdado Cabello, immediately brushed aside the accusations and new USA sanctions introduced against him for allegedly heading a drug ring.

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. Also named in the announcement was Rafael Alfredo Sarria, 52, who the Treasury Department said acted as a frontman for Mr. Cabello, channeling illicit money through real estate and businesses in Florida.

The latest sanctions came ahead of Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela, in which Maduro is up for reelection.

Venezuela's record-low voter turnout is the latest chapter in the death of its democracy

Three others of Cabello's alleged corruption network were also sanctioned Friday including his brother, Jose David Cabello, who heads Venezuela's tax office, and his wife, Marleny Contreras, who is tourism minister. 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. Washington's sanctions, he noted, will inevitably hurt common Venezuelans struggling to afford "food and medicines". Please support us with a voluntary $5/month subscription.

The hardline opposition party Popular Will on Saturday reiterated its call for Venezuelans to boycott the election and described it as an "electoral sham that seeks to validate the dictatorship in Venezuela and the world".

"The Venezuelan people suffer under corrupt politicians who tighten their grip on power while lining their own pockets", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. But Friday marked the first time that Washington publicly linked Maduro to the drug trade.

Airline passenger punches deaf woman, service dog
Manley said his wife, Petrini, 56, complained of being allergic to dogs as the plane began its descent and taxi to the gate. Orlando police at the airport filed an incident report and turned the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation .

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