Drug kingpin Venezuelan VP blasts drug sanctions in full-page NY Times ad

Venezuela's vice president took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on Wednesday to lash out at Trump administration's decision to sanction him for drug trafficking.

In the public letter, Tareck El Aissami called the accusations against him baseless as well as a violation of his human rights and dignity.


"You have been deceived by political sectors, lobbyists and stakeholders in the U.S. whose essential interest is to prevent that the United States and Venezuelan restore their political and diplomatic relations on the basis of mutual recognition and respect," said the letter, which is addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

He also touted his record as interior minister from 2008 to 2012, saying he had extradited 21 captured drug lords to the U.S. 

The Treasury Department last week froze El Aissami's American bank accounts and those of an alleged business associate for allegedly helping facilitate large cocaine shipments from Venezuela. El Aissami said he has no assets or accounts in the U.S.