CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on Venezuelan socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello, accusing him of drug trafficking and heading a major corruption network that siphoned off funds from state-run companies to accounts in Russia and other countries. The actions Friday by the Treasury Department freezing any U.S. assets Cabello has and preventing Americans from doing business with him comes as tensions mount between Washington and Venezuela ahead of Sunday’s presidential election, which the Trump administration refuses to recognize. ADVERTISEMENT The Treasury Department in a statement said that Cabello, who is considered the second most-powerful man in Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro, used his different positions in the government over two decades to “personally profit from extortion, money laundering, and embezzlement.” The U.S. has sanctioned dozens of top Venezuelan officials in recent months, including Maduro, over human rights abuses, allegations of drug trafficking and the erosion of democratic safeguards. But Cabello had so far been spared, fueling all sorts of intrigue that the U.S. was somehow protecting the outspoken power broker in order to sow distrust among Maduro’s inner circle. With associates, Cabello is accused of illegally extracting and exporting iron from a state-run conglomerate and… Read full this story
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