(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against a number of current or former senior members of the Venezuelan government, following an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.
According to the Treasury, the sanctions are a result of the efforts of the 13 individuals being punished for undermining democracy. The sanctions were handed down ahead of an election of a National Constituent Assembly, which could rewrite the nation’s constitution and potentially dissolve state institutions.
“A flawed ANC election process all but guarantees that a majority of the Assembly’s members will represent the interests of President [Nicolas] Maduro’s government,” a press release from the Treasury Department states.
“As President Trump has made clear,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.”
The sanctions freeze all assets of the individuals named, and prohibit U.S. persons from dealing with them. Those named include four senior officials pursuing the Constituent Assembly elections (Tibisay Lucena Ramirez, Elias Josa Jaua Milano, Tarek William Saab Halabi and Maria Iris Varela Rangel), five current and former senior officials responsible for violence and oppression (Nestor Luis Reverol Torres, Carlos Alfredo Perez Ampueda, Sergio Jose Rivero Marcano, Jesus Rafael Suarez Chourio and Franklin Horacio Garcia Duque), and four current of former officials of Venezuela’s state-owed oil company PDVSA and the National Center for Foreign Commerce (CENCOEX).
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