US to bar Venezuela’s vice president from country and freeze his US assets over drugs claims

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The Trump administration will impose sanctions on Venezuela’s new vice president, Tareck El Aissami, and accuse him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking.

Mr El Aissami has been the target of US law enforcement for years over ties to the nation’s largest convicted drug trafficker and a Middle Eastern militant group.

The US move, which is yet to be formally announced, freezes his assets in the US and bars him from entering the country.

The administration will also impose sanctions on Samark Bello, a wealthy businessman connected to Mr El Aissami who has held significant business interests in the US.

The US says Mr Bello provided assistance or support to Mr El Aissami’s trafficking activities.

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