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Venezuelan leader thanks Trump for new sanctions, saying it’s like being awarded a medal

Nicolas Maduro called on the US to stop 'being cowards' while mentioning the sanctions against his wife

MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has thanked his US counterpart, Donald Trump, for imposing more sanctions against his country.

"I am surrounded by sanctions, thank you, Donald Trump. It’s like being awarded a medal," Maduro told the national television.

He also voiced sharp remarks about the US’ sanctions against his wife Cilia Flores. "I have never seen anything like that. Do attack me but let Cilia alone, let the family alone, don’t be cowards," he said. "Her only crime is being my wife. But once they are unable to get over Maduro, they attack Cilia but they won’t be able to get over her either because she is a strong woman."

Earlier in the day, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Minister of Communications and Information Jorge Rodriguez and Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

In the recent years, Venezuela has been living through an acute socio-economic crisis accompanied by hiking prices, food and medicines shortages and devaluation of the national currency. Hardships force many Venezuelans flee their homeland. According to the UN statistics, about 2.3 million people had fled Venezuela by June. People go mostly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.