WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday the United States government accused the vice president of Venezuela, Tareck El Aissami, of being involved in international drug trafficking. As a result of the accusation, the U.S. has placed severe sanctions on him. U.S. citizens are banned from doing business with him and freezing any assets he has in the US.
El Aissami was appointed VP in January. He is a former interior and justice minister and governor of the country’s Aragua state.
The allegations come from an investigation by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). They claim El Aissani “facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela to include control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base, (and) narcotics shipments of over 1,000 kilograms from Venezuela on multiple occasions, including those with the final destinations of Mexico and the United States.”
A senior official of the OFAC claims that the accusation is “not a reaction to El Aissami’s role as executive vice president of Venezuela. The designation is the result of a years-long investigation of narcotics trafficking by OFAC.”
The move is almost certainly politically motivated as an attack upon Venezuela. It like many accusations against the country have not yet had any evidence put forward publicly. U.S. foreign policy towards the country has been primarily focused on trying to discredit the current Bolivarian government. U.S. manipulations in the country are long running and well known. Such an accusation is ridiculous given the C.I.A.’s long history of drug trafficking in Latin America.