CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Thursday accused the United States of seeking to destroy a food aid program that the government of the crisis-stricken OPEC nation says feeds 6 million families.
Washington is preparing sanctions and criminal charges against Venezuelan officials and others suspected of using the food program to launder money for the Maduro government, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
The measures against the program, known in Venezuela by its Spanish acronym CLAP, are expected to be enacted within the next 90 days, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified.
“(The U.S.) is preparing sanctions to destroy the CLAP system,” Maduro said in televised broadcast, accompanied by the military high command.
“Do what you want to do, Venezuela will continue with the Local Supply and Production Committees,” he said, referencing the full name of the CLAP program.
The State Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
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