Top oil exporter Venezuela, in deep crisis

People enjoy a day on the beach in La Guaira

People enjoy a day on the beach in La Guaira Venezuela

Background: The United States and its allies in Latin America view Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's administration as the main impediment to solving the country's crisis.

The statement referred to Cabello as "the second most powerful man in Venezuela" after Maduro, accusing him of money laundering and involvement in trafficking drugs from Venezuela to Europe.

In the call, Erdoğan said he hoped the presidential elections set to be held on May 20 in Venezuela will be held in an atmosphere of peace and will prove beneficial for the country, reminding that Turkey, too, will be holding elections on June 24.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on four Venezuelan nationals and three Florida-based companies on Friday in the latest move meant to put pressure on Caracas.

A businessman, Rafael Alfredo Sarria Diaz, who has been accused of acting on behalf of Cabello, was also on the blacklist.

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It also comes ahead of Sunday's presidential elections, which Maduro is expected to win amid a boycott by opposition parties.

"I openly expressed that we support all the Muslim countries and Palestine, especially in light of what has happened in Palestine recently", said Maduro, for his part.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in Washington said that it had placed the politician, Diosdado Cabello, a top Socialist Party figure, on a list of sanctioned individuals, freezing his assets in the United States and barring Americans from doing business with him.

It said he had laundered money through Costa Rica and Russian Federation, and organized drug shipments from Venezuela through the Dominican Republic into Europe.

Maduro has blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for the deep recession and hyperinflation that has caused food shortages in Venezuela and sent an exodus of migrants into neighboring countries.

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