WASHINGTON — The Trump administration decreed sanctions against Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami on Monday, saying he plays a major role in international drug trafficking.

The announcement, made on the Treasury Department’s website late in the day, is bound to ratchet up tensions between the U.S. and its harshest critic in Latin America. El Aissami is the most senior Venezuelan official to ever be targeted by the U.S.

The U.S. also is sanctioning Samark Lopez, a Venezuelan businessman accused of being Aissami’s front man. Thirteen companies Lopez owns or controls, including five in Florida, will be blocked, and both men will be barred from entering the U.S.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.