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US Treasury imposes sanctions on Maduro's son

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on the son of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The sanctions are part of U.S.'s efforts to place economic pressure on the government of the Venezuelan president and its regional allies, as Washington has moved to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's president. 

Nicolas Maduro Guerra, 29, became another prominent figure within Maduro's government to be added to the U.S. sanctions list since the country's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, was added in April.

Maduro's son, who identifies himself as a "soldier of [Hugo] Chavez", the country's former socialist leader, has reportedly served as the head of the Special Inspector's Corps of the Presidency which measures whether private businessmen speculate on prices.

Guaido declared himself interim president in January following massive protests amid a spiraling humanitarian and economic crisis in the Latin American nation. 

The U.S. quickly threw its diplomatic support behind Guaido, calling on other nations to follow suit while imposing economic sanctions on the Venezuelan government as well as taking other punitive measures against its leaders. 

Most countries in the Americas and Europe have followed Washington's lead in recognizing Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. 

Maduro, however, has refused to hand over control of the country, insisting he is targeted by a U.S.-orchestrated coup. 

The political stalemate is being played out as Venezuela grapples with a worsening economic crisis that has led to widespread shortages of goods throughout the country. 

Washington has blacklisted other Venezuelan entities and officers, including the country's state oil company PDVSA and the central bank. Treasury also sanctioned Laureano Ortega Murillo, the son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, to target "corrupt financial operations and Ortega regime support network." 

On Thursday, he treasury also sanctioned Luis Motta, a Major General of the Bolivarian National Guard and former Minister of Electric Power, and Eustiquio Lugo, Deputy Minister of Finance, Investment, and Strategic Alliances for the Ministry of Electric Power. 

Venezuela's economy has been in precipitous decline following a global downturn in the price of crude oil, the country's main export.

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