Venezuela Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza shows pictures he said represent opposition members initiating violence during a meeting on Venezuela in the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2019.
Venezuela Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza shows pictures he said represent opposition members initiating violence during a meeting on Venezuela in the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2019.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on Venezuela's foreign minister and a Venezuelan judge, according to a statement on the department's website.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and a judge, Carol Padilla, were targeted over the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, the Treasury Department said, the latest in a list of officials blacklisted by U.S. authorities for their role in President Nicolas Maduro's government.

The move is aimed at increasing pressure on Maduro and senior officials in his government, which has been widely criticized for economic collapse and undermining democracy.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler, attends a forum to discuss a security plan for the country, in Caracas, Venezuela, April 11, 2019.

Washington has recognized the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American nation’s interim president and has asked Maduro, a socialist in power since 2013, to step down.

"The United States will not stand by and watch as the illegitimate Maduro regime starves the Venezuelan people of their wealth, humanity, and right to democracy," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"Treasury will continue to target corrupt Maduro insiders, including those tasked with conducting diplomacy and carrying out justice on behalf of this illegitimate regime."