US Sanctions 4 Venezuelan Officials, Citing Corruption

US Sanctions 4 Venezuelan Officials, Citing Corruption”

The US Department of the Treasury imposed Friday sanctions on four Venezuelan government officials over links to corruption and repression in Venezuela.

Falling oil prices, political unrest, and corruption have decimated the country's economy and led to deadly protests under Maduro.

The Venezuelan premier lambasted the USA press via his Twitter account Friday, accusing it of waging a "media war" against his country and, more specifically, the Bolivarian government.

"The [Venezuelan armed forces] will never bow to any foreign power, and much less to the imperialist and warlike forces of the supremacist government of Donald Trump", Arreaza said on state media AVN. "We demand respect for the Venezuelan people and its institutions".

On Nov. 9 of a year ago, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned against 10 current or former Venezuelan officials, whom it said "are associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela".

"Marco Torres has been allegedly linked to corruption schemes related to food imports, which are controlled by the Venezuelan military", the US Department of the Treasury claimed.

The U.S. now calls on "concerned parties and global partners around the world to join us as we stand with the Venezuelan people to further isolate this oppressive regime", Mnuchin said. Marco Torres was President Nicolas Maduro's food minister until August 2017 and previously served as finance minister as well as head of the country's central bank.

The others affected by Friday's announcement are Fabio Zavarse Pabon, a division general of the Bolivarian National Guard, and Gerardo Izquierdo Torres, an Army major general who holds other senior positions.

The Treasury order freezes any assets the four might have in United States jurisdictions, and bans Americans and U.S. firms from doing business with them.

"Members of the Venezuelan armed forces who put their own interests above those of their fellow citizens can not expect immunity from our sanctions and worldwide accountability", she added.

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