02:54 GMT28 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is halfway through its probe of a recent effort by Caracas to purchase dozens of police cars in the United States in violation of the sanctions, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said on Wednesday.

    "We are in the middle of investigating a recent effort to break sanctions by buying several dozen police cars - SUVs to serve as police cars - in the United States now, this year", Abrams told reporters. "So, the regime figures out ways to buy police cars."

    The political situation in Venezuela derailed last January after opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president. Several countries, including the US, endorsed him as Venezuela's leader and urged the incumbent president, Nicolas Maduro, to step down.

    The US then imposed several rounds of sanctions against Venezuelan officials and entities, blocking $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuela's national oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and its subsidiaries.

    Maduro, whose presidency was supported by Russia and China, among other states, has denounced the sanctions as an illegal attempt to seize the country’s sovereign assets. Maduro has called Guaido a US puppet who is trying to help Washington overthrow Venezuela’s government to seize the country’s natural resources.

    Tags:
    car, police, Venezuela, US
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