23 May 2019
The United States is preparing sanctions and criminal charges against Venezuelan officials and others suspected of using a military-run food aid program to launder money for President Nicolas Maduro’s government, according to people familiar with the matter.
These actions are expected to be taken within the next three months as part of the Trump administration’s push to curtail the cash flow to Maduro and his loyalists, two sources said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the United States was putting together a package of measures alleging the large-scale laundering of funds intended for the food program and other state operations in Venezuela, where millions of people are suffering from food and medicine shortages.
Multiple U.S. government agencies, including the National Security Council and the Treasury, State and Justice Departments, are involved in the effort, the sources said. The agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Venezuela’s political crisis has deepened since opposition leader Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing that socialist Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate.
By Matt Spetalnick, Reuters, 21 May 2019
Read more at Reuters
Photo: Presidencia El Salvador [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
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