US Adds to Venezuela Pressure With Sanctions Days Before Vote

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Maduro said the factory would now be "producing with the industrial working class".

The U.S. ramped up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's government on Friday, accusing him of profiting from illegal narcotics shipments and imposing sanctions against the No. 2 official in the ruling Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello.

Venezuelans will vote in presidential elections on Sunday.

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TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from Caracas, Venezuela. The Trump administration also froze the assets of Rafael Sarria, who the Treasury Department said is Cabello's main frontman, and three Boca Raton, Florida-companies he is linked to as well as 14 properties belonging to him or his companies in Florida and NY.

The Wall Street Journal published a sprawling investigation in 2015 that alleged that Cabello, along with his brother, Jose David were being investigated by US prosecutors for leading a drug trafficking and money laundering ring with other top military and government officials. Washington also went on to impose punitive measures against three companies in Florida that are allegedly owned or controlled by Sarria, blocking 14 properties in Florida and NY.

Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, denounced in recent days the USA and Southern Command plans to attack Venezuela, something that agrees with another carried out by Argentine journalist, Stella Calloni, who announced the existence of a Washington maneuver.

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"The Venezuelan people suffer under corrupt politicians who tighten their grip on power while lining their own pockets", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a written statement. But Friday marked the first time that Washington publicly linked Maduro to the drug trade.

The United States has already imposed sanctions against Maduro for human rights abuses and blamed him for Venezuela's current economic and political crises.

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