US Treasury sanctions six officials in Maduro government

World Today

VENEZUELA-MILITARYScreengrab taken from a handout video released by Venezuelan Television (VTV) showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C), his wife Cilia Flores (L) and military authorities reacting to a loud band during a ceremony to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the National Guard in Caracas on August 4, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / VENEZUELAN TELEVISION (VTV))

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned six Venezuelan government officials who are aligned with Nicolas Maduro.

The six individuals are “associated with the obstruction of humanitarian aid deliveries into Venezuela on February 23, 2019,” the U.S. Treasury said.

“In order to prevent much needed aid from reaching the suffering people of Venezuela, Maduro closed Venezuela’s border and deployed official, and unofficial, military and security forces to Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil where the humanitarian aid convoys were set to cross,” the statement read. The U.S. action then targets the “six security officials who control many of the groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans starving and without access to medical care.”

The Maduro government, which the U.S. does not find to be legitimate, has been “weaponizing the delivery of food and critically needed supplies in order to control vulnerable Venezuelans,” the U.S. Treasury statement read.