U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 10 More Venezuelan Officials

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 10 More Venezuelan Officials


As a result of the Treasury Department’s designation, the government froze all the assets under the United States’ jurisdiction belonging to the 10 officials and prohibited Americans from doing business with them.

They join a growing list of former and current Venezuelan officials who have been sanctioned by the American government, most notably President Maduro, who was added on July 31, a day after he engineered elections for an all-powerful National Constituent Assembly, a move that compelled the Trump administration to label Mr. Maduro “a dictator.”

The Trump administration has also sanctioned eight members of the Venezuelan Supreme Court for their efforts to obstruct the National Assembly, the legislative body controlled by the opposition, and Vice President Tareck El Aissami, whom American authorities have accused of narcotics trafficking.

Among those on the sanctions list announced on Thursday were two rectors of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council — Sandra Oblitas Ruzza and Socorro Elizabeth Hernández de Hernández — and one alternate rector, Carlos Enrique Quintero Cuevas. The council, which is closely aligned with Mr. Maduro, was accused of engaging in dirty tricks around the elections of governors on Oct. 15 to the benefit of the president’s party, including moving polling stations in the days before the vote.

Mr. Maduro’s party won a landslide victory, though the opposition presented what they said was airtight evidence of vote-count fraud in the state of Bolívar. But the Venezuelan government ignored calls for an independent audit of the results and swore in the winning candidates, “further illustrating the authoritarian nature of the Maduro regime,” the Treasury Department said Thursday.

Other officials included on the sanctions list on Thursday included Elvis Eduardo Hidrobo Amoroso, the second vice president of the Constituent Assembly; Julián Isaías Rodríguez Diaz, Venezuela’s ambassador to Italy and former second vice president of the Constituent Assembly; Ernesto Emilio Villegas Poljak, Venezuela’s newly appointed culture minister and a former communication and information minister; and Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales, minister of urban agriculture.

In 2011, Mr. Bernal was designated by the Treasury Department as a narcotics trafficker for his association with a Colombian rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the department said.



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