Trump Targets Maduro's Son in Latest Sanctions Against Venezuela
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. sanctioned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s son in an escalation of Trump administration efforts to punish the socialist regime for corruption and authoritarian practices.
Nicolas Maduro Guerra, 29, is a constituent assembly member and was appointed the head of the newly formed Corps of Inspectors of the Presidency in 2014, shortly after Maduro took power.
In a statement from the Treasury Department on Friday, the U.S. accused Maduro Guerra of being involved in propaganda and censorship efforts, as well as profiting from Venezuelan mines along with Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores.
“Maduro’s regime was built on fraudulent elections, and his inner circle lives in luxury off the proceeds of corruption while the Venezuelan people suffer,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Maduro relies on his son Nicolasito and others close to his authoritarian regime to maintain a stranglehold on the economy and suppress the people of Venezuela.”
The U.S. has continued to increase pressure on Venezuela as its support for National Assembly head Juan Guaido has so far failed to dislodge Maduro, who still controls the military and the nation’s ministries. Many of Guaido’s closest allies are detained or taking refuge after his call for a military uprising in late April flopped.
Earlier this year, Maduro Guerra was devising a strategy to pressure the Venezuelan National Armed Forces to deny humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela by characterizing it as an attempt to undermine the country’s democracy, the Treasury statement said. He also allegedly worked to increase censorship of Venezuela’s telecommunications infrastructure.
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