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United States imposes sanctions on three Venezuelans under drug kingpin rules

11 May 2018

Pence, in a speech to the OAS, urged Maduro to suspend elections scheduled for May 20, saying they would be a "fraud" and a "sham".

Pence urged other OAS member countries to help the United States increase pressure on the Maduro regime by cutting off "Venezuela's corrupt leaders from laundering money through your financial systems" and by enacting visa restrictions to block their travel.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the sanctions during a speech at the Organization of American States in Washington D.C., describing the subjects as narcotics "kingpins" with direct ties to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime.

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"Systemic corruption and a collapse in the rule of law are defining features of Venezuela's government", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Monday. It also denies there is a humanitarian crisis.

"The TPS program has already been taken away from hundreds of thousands of families in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti (...) 800,000 Latin Americans are going to be expelled from this country and this president says he cares about the region".

"We want to leave".

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Pence said the U.S. has already sanctioned more than 50 current and former senior Venezuelan officials and cut off the so-called "petro" digital currency from the USA banking system.

Moncada also said there is "no possibility" that the May 20 election won't take place. He also claimed that the mining of cryptocurrencies is a useful and productive activity that will lead to the strengthening of country's economy.

The 20 companies - of which 16 are based in Venezuela - were used to launder illicit proceeds from the drug trade, according to the statement.

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said Pedro Luis Martin Olivares was indicted in 2015 by a grand jury in Florida for willfully conspiring to distribute a controlled substance into the United States and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance on board an aircraft registered in the United States.

United States imposes sanctions on three Venezuelans under drug kingpin rules