US Imposes Sanctions on 10 More Venezuelan Officials
On Thursday, the Trump Administration doled out a round of sanctions on 10 Venezuelan officials, its fifth round this year. The 10 join another 30 former and current officials, including Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
The US has frozen the assets of the 10 officials and has consequently banned them from travelling into the country. As such, American businesses are now prohibited to work with these sanctioned Venezuelans.
According to a press release by the US Department of the Treasury, “these individuals are associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela. This designation follows October 15, 2017 state elections in Venezuela, which were marked by numerous irregularities that strongly suggest fraud helped the ruling party unexpectedly win a majority of governorships.”
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin added: “as the Venezuelan government continues to disregard the will of its people, our message remains clear: the United States will not stand aside while the Maduro regime continues to destroy democratic order and prosperity in Venezuela.”
This decision also follows US accusations on the Venezuelan government for ignoring clear evidence of vote-count fraud in the recent elections, “further illustrating the authoritarian nature of the Maduro regime.”
Back in August, the US imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela, banning “debt trading of bonds issued by the government and its state-owned oil company.” The US has been facing increasing pressure to implement an oil ban, but remains concerned for the possible effects on American refineries and the already fragile state of Venezuela.
Mnuchin, in a clear call to action announced: “We will maintain our vigorous efforts to sanction Venezuelan government officials who are complicit in Maduro's attempts to undermine democracy, violate human rights, inhibit the freedom of expression or peaceful assembly, or engage in public corruption, unless they break from Maduro's dictatorial regime.”