Cameramen are sillouhetted in front of a screen featuring the Venezuela flag during the Venezuela Live Aid concert in Cucuta, Colombia. (Photographer: Federico Rios/Bloomberg)

U.S. Ends Sanctions on Venezuelan Official Who Broke With Maduro

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department lifted financial sanctions on Venezuela’s former intelligence chief to reward him for breaking ranks with Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

American officials have promised sanctions relief for people associated with Maduro who help remove him from power. The U.S. enacted the policy for the first time on Tuesday by lifting sanctions imposed Feb. 15 on the former Director General of Venezuela’s National Intelligence Service, Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera.

The move “shows the good faith of the United States that removal of sanctions may be available for designated persons who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order,” Treasury said in a statement on its website.

The Trump administration has recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader. Guaido tried earlier this month to overthrow Maduro by rallying the military to abandon its support for him, but the effort fizzled and the embattled president remains in power.

Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech at the State Department on Tuesday that Figuera “broke ranks with the Maduro regime and rallied to the support of the Venezuelan constitution and the national assembly” by backing Guaido.

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