The United States has been imposing sanctions on Venezuela since a political-economic crisis erupted in the country in January and has frozen billions of dollars’ worth of Venezuelan assets.

The US has imposed a new row of Venezuela-related sanctions, the Treasury Department stated on its website. The new sanctions on Venezuela target 10 individuals and 13 entities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and other countries, according to the US Treasury Department.

“Treasury is targeting those behind Maduro’s sophisticated corruption schemes, as well as the global network of shell companies that profit from the former regime’s military-controlled food distribution program”, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The sanctioned individuals include Colombian businessmen Alex Nain Saab Moran and Alvaro Enrique Pulido Rubio, as well as three stepsons of President Nicolas Maduro, Walter, Yosser, and Yoswal, the statement said.

The new batch of sanctions comes after the US Treasury imposed restrictions on four individuals with ties to Venezuela’s military counterintelligence agency on 19 July. On 11 July, Washington added Venezuela’s General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) SDN (specially designated nationals). The Treasury said that the US would freeze all assets owned either directly or indirectly by the DGCIM.

According to the US State Department, Washington will continue to hold Venezuelan officials accountable for what it claims is the oppression of the Venezuelan people, theft of Venezuela’s resources, and destructive policies that have created unbearable living conditions throughout the country.

Moscow has commented on the matter, saying that the United States is strangling Venezuela with sanctions in an attempt to drag the Latin American nation into chaos.

Venezuela has been in a state of a political and economic crisis since January, after US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust Maduro. The United States and 54 countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s head of state, while Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia and numerous other countries have acknowledged Maduro as the sole legitimate president of Venezuela.

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