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Venezuela accuses U.S. of sabotaging election with new sanctions

Venezuela accuses U.S. of sabotaging election with new sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro received a show of support from Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona, ahead of the weekend's controversial elections.

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

The Treasury said in a statement that it has designated Diosdado Cabello, the first-vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the party of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Cabello's wife and brother.

Maduro, who himself is subject to U.S. sanctions, repeatedly slammed Washington's punitive measures as part of a broader campaign aimed at overthrowing his government, and said that the policy has nothing to do with drug trafficking, elections or support of democracy.

The Treasury Department said Cabello, who has served in senior positions in Venezuela's government and was formerly president of the National Assembly, had used his sphere of influence to "personally profit from extortion, money laundering and embezzlement".

More news: Mike Budenholzer reaches agreement to become Bucks head coach

Maduro is expected on Sunday to fend off a challenge from opposition candidate Henri Falcon, who is breaking the mainstream opposition coalition's boycott of the vote which it says is rigged to assure Maduro wins a second term.

The timing of the announcement, so close to the Venezuelan election, could energize Mr.

Maduro insists the election will be free and fair, and accuses the opposition of refusing to participate because it knows it can not win.

According to Santos, intelligence agencies found out that the Venezuelan government plans to "register and move Colombian citizens to vote in Venezuela" on Sunday when the neighboring country elects a new president. It had invited the United Nations and other worldwide bodies to send observers, but the UN believes the conditions do not exist to guarantee a democratic process. The US apparently hopes that additional sanctions will eventually bring about democracy in the South American country, which is suffering from declining oil production, hyperinflation and food shortages.


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