Venezuela Protests US Sanctions

Posted September 10th, 2011 at 12:45 am (UTC-5)
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez challenged U.S. President Barack Obama Friday to prove U.S. claims that four Venezuelan officials are involved in drugs and arms trafficking.

The U.S. accused the four men Thursday of providing arms, security and training to FARC, Colombia's main rebel group.

The Venezuelans were placed on the U.S. narcotics kingpins list, freezing any assets they might have in the U.S. and barring Americans from doing business with them.

Washington identified the men as General Cliver Alcala, lawmaker Freddy Bernal, Amilcar Figueroa, a delegate to the Latin American Parliament, and intelligence official Ramon Madriz.

President Chavez says by putting the Venezuelan men on the blacklist, the U.S. might be laying the groundwork to eventually place Venezuela on a list of countries that support terrorism.

Venezuelan authorities delivered a formal complaint about the sanctions Friday to the U.S. embassy.

The Chavez government has long denied accusations from Washington and Bogota that it has granted FARC rebels refuge and aid.