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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is slapping sanctions on Venezuela’s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami and accusing him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking.
That’s according to individuals briefed on the U.S. government’s plans who requested anonymity to disclose the move ahead of a formal announcement.
El Aissami has been the target of U.S. law enforcement for years over ties to the nation’s largest convicted drug trafficker and a Middle Eastern militant group. The U.S. move freezes his assets in the U.S. and bars him from entering the U.S.
The U.S. is also sanctioning Samark Bello, a wealthy businessman connected to El Aissami who has held significant business interests in the U.S. The U.S. says Bello provided assistance or support to El Aissami’s trafficking activities.
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