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US puts sanctions on Venezuela first lady, other officials

Key Points
  • The Trump administration has slapped financial sanctions on four members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle, including his wife and the nation's vice president on allegations of corruption.
  • As part of the actions announced Tuesday, the Treasury Department also seized a $20 million private jet belonging to an alleged front man for powerful socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello.
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Treasury targets Venezuelan President Maduro's inner circle

The Trump administration has slapped financial sanctions on four members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle, including his wife and the nation's vice president on allegations of corruption.

Those sanctioned Tuesday include First Lady Cilia Flores, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.

As part of the actions announced Tuesday, the Treasury Department also seized a $20 million private jet belonging to an alleged front man for powerful socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello.

The U.S. has sanctioned dozens of top officials including Maduro himself as part of a campaign to force him from power.

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Key Points
  • Former Obama and Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel is warning that Trump could order military action in increasingly unstable Venezuela for political gain.
  • "We have a phrase in this country: the October surprise," Emanuel, Obama's first White House chief of staff, says in an interview. "I think in this situation he is looking to do anything and will do anything."
  • The Trump administration has not ruled out action in the South American nation, which, under the rule of Nicolas Maduro, has descended into chaos.