13:59 GMT +321 October 2018
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    In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, security personnel surround Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during an incident as he was giving a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018

    US Slaps New Sanctions on Top Venezuelan Officials, Maduro's Wife - Treasury

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has issued a new set of sanctions against Venezuela adding President Nicolas Maduro's spouse and key cabinet officials to the list of sanctioned individuals, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a press release.

    Reacting to the introduction of a new set of sanctions, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro thanked Trump.

    "Thank you, Donald Trump," Maduro said during a broadcast on state television.

    In the meantime, commenting of the restrictive measures later in the day, Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa told Sputnik that the move was a continuation of Washington's policy of interference and aggression against the government and the people of Venezuela.

    "More sanctions by the US government against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela demonstrate again this unilateral policy, which violates the international law, directly contradicts our rights to self-determination and the construction of our own project of political and economic independence as a nation," the diplomat stressed.

    Earlier in the day, the US Treasury said Cilia Adela Flores de Maduro, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Eloina Rodrigues Lopez, and Minister of Defense for the National Armed Forces Vladimir Padrino Lopez were among six individuals put on the sanctions list.

    As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are either in the United States or in the possession of US persons must be blocked and reported to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the US Department of State said in a separate news release.

    "Today’s action shows that the United States will continue to take concrete and forceful action against those who are involved in the destruction of democracy in Venezuela as well as those who are enriching themselves at the expense of the Venezuelan people," the release stated.

    The State Department added that the United States would consider lifting sanctions for persons that take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the government and combat corruption in Venezuela.

    Three entities, including one from Spain and one from the British Virgin Islands, as well as a Venezuelan aircraft have been also sanctioned on Tuesday.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Minister Says Chile, Colombia, Mexico May Be Involved in Maduro Attack

    The United States has long been opposing policies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and has introduced numerous sanctions against Caracas to counter them.

    Venezuela has been struggling with political and economic fallout including a shortage of goods, galloping inflation and a fall in government revenues caused by a decline in oil prices and US sanctions after the United States blocked its investors from buying Venezuelan debt. It also prohibited dealing in Venezuelan digital currencies.

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    Tags:
    oil, economic collapse, sanctions, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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