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Venezuela's vice president shrugs off drug sanctions as US ploy

Venezuela's vice president has shrugged off US sanctions identifying him as a major international drug trafficker.

In a series of messages posted on social media, Tareck El Aissami said the "miserable and defamatory aggression" by the US would not distract him from his job of deepening the revolution started by the late Hugo Chavez.

The Trump administration on Monday froze the US assets of Mr El Aissami and a businessman it said was acting as his front man in facilitating multiple cocaine shipments from Venezuela.

Mr El Aissami is the highest-ranking Venezuelan official to be sanctioned by the US.

His designation as a drug kingpin is bound to ratchet up tensions between the two countries.

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