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US Sanctions 4 Venezuelan Officials, Citing Corruption


FILE - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a meeting with pro-government governors and mayors, next to Venezuela's National Constitutional Assembly Delcy Rodriguez (L) and Venezuela's Vice President Tareck El Aissami, at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Dec. 19, 2017.

The United States Treasury has placed sanctions on four current or former Venezuelan officials associated with corruption or repression in Venezuela.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement, "President Maduro and his inner circle continue to put their own interests above those of the Venezuelan people. This action underscores the United States' resolve to hold Maduro and others engaged in corruption in Venezuela accountable."

The sanctions are aimed at senior military officials, according to the Treasury Department.

The Treasury statement said, "Corruption and repression continue to flourish under the Maduro regime, both by those in current government positions and former officials who continue to benefit from a corrupt system, even as Venezuela's citizens, economy, and constitutionally enshrined democratic institutions languish."

Further, it said the four officials targeted "have forsaken the professional republican mission of the military institution, which, per Venezuela's 1999 Constitution, is to be "with no political orientation ... and in no case at the service of any person or political partisanship."

The four officials' assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. citizens are "generally" prohibited from dealing with them, according to the Treasury.

The officials are Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres, governor of Aragua State; Francisco Jose Rangel Gomez, former governor of Bolivar State; Fabio Enrique Zavarse Pabon, division general of the Bolivarian National Guard; and Gerardo Jose Izquierdo Torres, Major General of the Army.

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