US sanctions Venezuelan vice president over drug trafficking

WASHINGTON — The United States sanctioned on Monday Venezuelan Executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami, citing his alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has introduced sanctions against Venezuelan Executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami under drug trafficking regulations, the US Department of the Treasury announced.

“The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN [Specially Designated Nationals] List: El Aissami Maddah, Tareck Zaidan,” the Treasury said in an update on its website on Monday.

The sanctions also targeted vice president’s associate Samark Jose Lopez Bello and an aircraft, according to the OFAC update.

Moreover, the United States added 13 companies, including Yakima Oil Trading from the United Kingdom and PSA Holdings LLC from the United Sates, to the list of sanctioned entities.

El Aissami was appointed as Vice President on January 4, 2017. In accordance with the Venezuelan Constitutions, in case of resignation president’s authorities transfer to vice president, if it occurs after the completion of half of the current presidential term.

On January 9, the parliament declared that Maduro abandoned his post as result of dereliction of duty, but the Supreme Court of Justice stated that the National Assembly does not have the constitutional powers to declare abandonment. Maduro classified the parliament’s actions as a coup attempt. PNA/