CARACAS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela on Wednesday said it had summoned the U.S. top envoy in Caracas to lodge formal protest over Washington's accusation of its vice president on drug trafficking.
"We delivered two letters of protest, as the head of state (President Nicolas Maduro) instructed, and we demanded respect for the vice president, Tareck El Aissami, a high-level Venezuelan government official," Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez told foreign correspondents at a press conference.
Rodriguez met with the charge d'affairs at the U.S. embassy, Lee McClenny, at the ministry's offices in the capital.
The first letter rejected the accusations against El Aissami as "unilateral and extrajudicial measures," and the second demanded the U.S. embassy publicly apologize to the vice president via its social networks, she said.
On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named El Aissami a "Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker," a designation that bars U.S. individuals and entities from doing business and otherwise dealing with him, and freezes any property and assets held by him there.
Maduro on Tuesday condemned the move as politically motivated, and accused the Treasury Department of taking on the role of global "police, judge and jury."
He also defended El Aissami, saying that during his term as Interior Minister, between 2008 and 2012, he dealt "the biggest blows ever against drug lords in Venezuela."