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Venezuelan gov't slams U.S. sanctions against VP

Xinhua, February 15, 2017 Adjust font size:

Venezuela on Tuesday rejected U.S. sanctions against its Vice President Tareck El Aissami, calling it an attempt by Washington to extend its legal reach.

"Venezuela vehemently rejects, condemns and protests the arbitrary and extrajudicial actions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury," the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. on Monday accused El Aissami of aiding drug trafficking in the region, naming him a "Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker." The designation bars U.S. individuals and entities from doing business with him, and freezes any property and assets held by him there.

"These actions, which aim to validate the common and inadmissible existence of an imperialist law, by granting U.S. government agencies special policing powers ... flagrantly violate international law," the ministry said.

El Aissami denied and dismissed the allegations as part of a smear campaign, Caracas-based news network Telesur said.

It is not the first time the U.S. has designated a Venezuelan official to its so-called "Kingpin List," but El Aissami is the highest ranking official to be included.

In an online post, El Aissami said, "personally, I take this miserable and vile attack as an acknowledgment of my status as an anti-imperialist revolutionary." Endit