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Pence Decries 'Fake' Venezuelan Elections, Political Imprisonments, Refusal of Foreign Aid

Pence Decries 'Fake' Venezuelan Elections, Political Imprisonments, Refusal of Foreign Aid

Vice President Mike Pence will on Monday announce new U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and call for a "sham" May election to be delayed.

The new sanctions continue a pattern of stepped-up USA measures on individuals connected to Maduro, who is blamed by President Donald Trump's administration for a deep recession and hyperinflation in OPEC member Venezuela that has caused food shortages and sent a flood of migrants into neighbouring countries.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told a conference on Latin America at the US State Department that the people of the South American country were "unwilling victims of a criminal narco-state".

"We have frozen their assets, blocked their access to our nation, so they can no longer poison our people with their deadly drugs", Pence said.

The government statement reiterated that presidential elections in Venezuela will take place in May 20 despite USA aggression and interventionism.

Martin exploited his position as a former Chief of Financial Intelligence for Venezuela's National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services and accepted bribes from drug traffickers in Venezuela and Colombia to traffic narcotics through Venezuelan airspace, OFAC said.

More news: Arsene Wenger: 'Arsenal players deserve support of fans'

Pence also dismissed the country's upcoming presidential elections, which Maduro is widely expected to "win", having banned most opposition candidates from running and relying on his regime's sophisticated use of voter fraud systems.

Maduro, himself subject to sanctions a year ago, regularly laughs off Washington's disapproval and blames the U.S.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the sanctions on Pedro Luis Martin Olivares during a speech at the Organization of American States.

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

The statement issued Tuesday was a response to declarations made by U.S. "Systemic corruption and a collapse in the rule of law are defining features of Venezuela's government", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. They are owned or controlled by the three individuals, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement on its website. The move could deal a further blow to the company's declining oil output and exports.


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