US hits 4 Venezuelans, 3 Florida-based companies with fresh sanctions

US hits 4 Venezuelans, 3 Florida-based companies with fresh sanctions
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The U.S. slapped sanctions on four Venezuelan nationals and three Florida-based companies on Friday in the latest move intended to put pressure on Caracas. 

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said it had imposed sanctions on Diosdado Cabello Rondon, Jose David Cabello Rondon, Marleny Josefina Contreras Hernandez and Rafael Alfredo Sarria Diaz. 

The three companies, 11420 Corp., Noor Plantation Investments LLC and SAI Advisors Inc. are all based in Boca Raton, Fla.

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The Trump administration has warned recently that it could impose tighter sanctions on Caracas to combat human rights and political abuses under President Nicolás Maduro. 

The latest sanctions come just two days before the country holds an election that Maduro is almost certain to win. The main opposition has said it will not participate in the contest, claiming that it is rigged. 

The humanitarian situation in Venezuela has become increasingly dire amid soaring inflation and shortages of food and medicine. Millions of Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries in recent years, creating a refugee crisis in South America.

In April, Vice President Pence announced that the U.S. would give nearly $16 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to assist Venezuelans, who have fled to Colombia and Brazil.