The United States says it welcomes the measures taken by Panama to expose and block Venezuelan money laundering, as the government of President Nicolas Maduro has intensified its attempts to circumvent international sanctions.
The White House press secretary said in a statement that the U.S. urged “the international community to follow Panama’s example and stand together against the Maduro regime’s corruption and illegitimate rule.”
The U.S. State Department also issued a statement saying that it applauded Panama’s March 27 announcement that “it will tighten financial oversight of 55 Venezuelans and 15 Venezuelan entities, and support other efforts in the region to fight the abuse of financial systems by corrupt actors.”
The U.S. statements reiterated that Venezuela must restore democracy and end the repression and suffering of the Venezuelan people.
Earlier this week, Venezuela responded to Panama’s measures by halting commercial relations with Panamanian officials and companies, including regional airline Copa, and raising counter-allegations of Panamanian involvement in money laundering activities.
The suspensions prompted a diplomatic crisis, with both countries recalling their respective ambassadors.
This story was written by VOA News.