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U.S. sanctions Venezuelan president's wife and inner circle

Maduro and wife and other officials waving
Photo: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images

The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced new sanctions against four members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle — his wife, vice president, communications minister and defense minister.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already sanctioned dozens of Venezuelan officials, including Maduro himself, in an effort to weaken the dictator and "support the Venezuelan people's efforts to restore their democracy."