US imposes sanctions on Venezuelan president's wife

In this file photo taken on January 15, 2017 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) and his wife, Cilia Flores wave to supporters

The US Treasury went after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle Tuesday, imposing sanctions on his wife, vice president and other close associates.

Treasury named Cilia Adela Flores de Maduro, a former attorney general and the president's wife, as one of the figures who has helped Maduro retain his grip on power, along with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

The other officials sanctioned are described as members of Maduro's inner circle -- Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez.

"Treasury will continue to impose a financial toll on those responsible for Venezuela's tragic decline, and the networks and front-men they use to mask their illicit wealth," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Those hit with sanctions will have any assets or property in the United States seized, and US institutions are prohibited from doing business with them, including a Gulfstream 200 private jet located in Florida and owned by Rafael Sarria Diaz, named as a front man.

Maduro already was targeted with the same penalties on July 31, 2017, as was Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC).

Treasury said the sanctions could be lifted if the officials "take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the government, and combat corruption in Venezuela."