Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United States urges OAS to suspend Venezuela, impose new sanctions

United States urges OAS to suspend Venezuela, impose new sanctions

So far, the White House has imposed a range of sanctions on the Maduro regime that include a ban on Americans from dealing with Venezuela's state-run oil company Petroleum of Venezuela (PDSVA) or buying the country's oil-backed cryptocurrency, as well as personal sanctions targeting high ranking government officials including Maduro himself.

Martin exploited his position as a former Chief of Financial Intelligence for Venezuela's National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services and accepted bribes from drug traffickers in Venezuela and Colombia to traffic narcotics through Venezuelan airspace, OFAC said. Those measures are still under consideration, though, one administration official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Pence's address is expected to focus, in part, on holding "undemocratic actors" accountable.

"The systematic oppression of the Venezuelan people has become an active threat to the entire region", Haley warned.

Pence made the statement when he addressed more than two dozen ambassadors in a speech at the Organization of American States.

The president and lead candidate in the country 's presidential elections scheduled for May 20 says his administration is going after "financial mafias" within the country.

In addition to announcing the sanctions, Pence also condemned Venezuela's upcoming May 20 election as a "fake election, with a fake outcome".

The suggestion was immediately rejected by Caracas.

Venezuela's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Samuel Moncada responds after Vice President Mike Pence asked the countries of the Western Hemisphere to suspend Venezuela from the 35-nation Organization of American States, at the OAS in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018.

Maduro, himself subject to sanctions previous year, regularly laughs off Washington's disapproval and blames the U.S.

The 20 companies - of which 16 are based in Venezuela - were used to launder illicit proceeds from the drug trade, according to the statement. The U.S. State Department has said not all political parties have agreed to the elections, limiting the ability of individuals to run.

Despite the political weight carried by the USA call to suspend Venezuela, for the moment there is not enough support within the organization to take that step.

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