Treasury Department Sanctions 4 Venezuelans, 3 Entities

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro reelected amid boycott by opposition groups

He said such slander would only strengthen the ruling party's candidate, Maduro, to win Sunday's elections.

President Maduro - who has been in office since 2013 - blames Venezuela's problems on an "economic war" being waged by foreign governments and businesses.

Cabello, along with his wife, Marleny Josefina Contreras, and his brother, Jose David, were sanctioned on Friday after Washington accused them of running a "corruption network" based on illegal drug trade.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from Caracas, Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the Treasury also blocked three companies and 14 properties in the United States, which were believed to be owned or controlled by Sarria.

The actions Friday by the Treasury Department freezing any US assets Cabello has and preventing Americans from doing business with him comes as tensions mount between Washington and Venezuela ahead of Sunday's presidential election, which the Trump administration refuses to recognize.

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The latest sanctions come as Washington ramps up pressure on senior Venezuelan figures for their role in the country's severe economic and social crisis, with millions suffering food and medicine shortages, hyperinflation and growing insecurity.

The hardline opposition party Popular Will on Saturday reiterated its call for Venezuelans to boycott the election and described it as an "electoral sham that seeks to validate the dictatorship in Venezuela and the world".

The United States, Canada, the European Union and several countries in Latin America said they will not recognize the results of the polls on the grounds that they are not transparent or fair.

"The Venezuelan people suffer under corrupt politicians who tighten their grip on power while lining their own pockets", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

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