Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

US hits 3 Venezuelans, 20 companies, with sanctions

US hits 3 Venezuelans, 20 companies, with sanctions

U.S. lawmakers are calling on the Trump administration to take a harder line on Maduro's regime.

The Venezuelan deputy minister for North America and representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Samuel Moncada, rejected on Monday the statements made by the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, and demanded respect for the peoples of Latin America. "He promised renewed greatness but he has only brought that nation suffering".

The Venezuelans allegedly used the businesses in private security, transportation, installation of electronics, real estate, construction, finished oil products, consulting and financial services to hide their illegal gains.

"Samuel Moncada accuses Mike Pence of an worldwide crime by violating the charters of the OAS and the United Nations in light of his statements at the protocolary meeting of the OAS Permanent Council", the statement released on Monday said.

The measures include personal sanctions on three Venezuelan officials as well as 20 companies with ties to the Maduro regime's alleged drug trafficking operations.

Maduro moved to strip the National Assembly of power in 2015 through an internationally questioned censured constitutional assembly after the Venezuelan United Socialist Party lost parliamentary elections. The three men were sanctioned under a USA law targeting drug kingpins. "It will be a fake election with a fake outcome", he added.

The U.S. continues to weigh whether to ban imports of Venezuelan oil, which accounts for 95 percent of the country's foreign-currency earnings. Venezuela, a founding member of OPEC, has the world's largest proven reserves and is South America's largest oil exporter.

USA oil major ConocoPhillips has moved to take Caribbean assets of PDVSA to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award, three sources told Reuters.

"We are in the country with the highest hyperinflation in the world", the head of the legislature's commission, Rafael Guzman, told a news conference.

The National Assembly has been reporting Venezuela's inflation since past year, when the government stopped giving an official figure.

The National Assembly has been reporting Venezuela's inflation since a year ago, when the government stopped giving an official figure.

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