The U.S. added five Venezuelan top diplomats to the sanction list Tuesday as part of increasing economic and diplomatic pressure against the government of the South American country.
“Treasury is identifying high-level officials acting on behalf of the oppressive regime of former Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which continues to engage in egregious levels of corruption and human rights abuses,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. “This action harmonizes our efforts with those of international partners like Canada and the European Union that have imposed sanctions against former Maduro regime officials.”
"Today’s identifications focus on current officials of the Government of Venezuela, including those associated with the government’s rampant violence against peaceful opposition protesters, and those who continue to benefit from the corrupt former regime," Mnuchin added.
The statement said these identifications "reflect a unified effort against the illegitimate former Maduro regime" and added that all of the individuals were previously sanctioned by the EU or Canada.
The list includes Remigio Ceballos Ichaso, an admiral in the Venezuelan Navy and commander of the Strategic Operational Command of the National Armed Forces; Nestor Neptali Blanco Hurtado, a major in the Bolivarian National Guard; Jose Adelino Ornelas Ferreira, secretary-general of the National Defense Council; Pedro Miguel Carreno Escobar, deputy of Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly and Carlos Alberto Calderon Chirinos, a senior official in the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez