- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2019

A top White House official said Friday that an FBI raid on a bank in Puerto Rico is an example of the administration using all available “tools” to pressure Venezuela’s socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro.

“The US will continue to use all tools to separate Maduro & his cronies from money that rightfully belongs to the people of Venezuela,” tweeted White House national security adviser John R. Bolton. “Those who continue to plunder the resources of Venezuela & stand against its people will not be forgotten.”

He was referring to the FBI’s raid on Wednesday against the BSJI bank in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over alleged violations of U.S. sanctions imposed on those who do business with Venezuela’s government.

An FBI spokesman told The Associated Press that federal officials suspect someone might have used the bank to launder money from a person or entity on the sanctions list.

Hector Vazquez Muniz, chief financial officer of Banco San Juan Internacional, said in a statement to the AP that the bank is complying with the U.S. sanctions and denied wrongdoing.

Mr. Bolton said the U.S. is “moving quickly to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuela’s doorstep to help the people and their new government — led by Juan Guaido.”

“Hope to see the people of Venezuela, and members of its military, peacefully coming together to allow this aid into Venezuela,” he tweeted.

Mr. Guaido has been recognized by the U.S. and many other nations as the legitimate interim president in the crisis-torn country. Russia and China are backing Mr. Maduro.

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