By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, a Specially Designated National by the U.S. Treasury, was ambivalent Monday regarding the latest U.S. travel and visa restrictions against Venezuelan police, intelligence and government officials, saying the new sanctions are “an honor” and “a trophy” for Venezuelan revolutionaries, but later described them as an act of “aggression” by an “arrogant” Donald Trump.
“The Yankee empire sanctions we, who are revolutionaries, we have taken as the maximum recognition for our historical struggles. That the empire sanctions is an honor,” El Aissami said during a public event televised by the state TV network.
Later however El Aissami said the U.S. measures -- announced Sunday night and only 48 hours after Canada sanctioned him, Maduro and other 38 officials -- were a new “aggression.”
El Aissami was labeled an SDN by Treasury in February, together with Samark Bello, a Venezuelan businessman that has done business with the Maduro administration, and who the U.S. said was the front to El Aissami’s drug-trafficking kingpin activities.
The U.S. State Department has revealed to the Latin American Herald Tribune
that as of August, the U.S. Treasury has seized over
$500 million in accounts and property belonging to El Aissami who has spent almost all of his adult life working in the Chavez government.