Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury identified five current officials of Venezuela’s Government pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13884, which blocks property and interests in the property of the Government of Venezuela and those who acted or claimed to have acted on its behalf.
“The Treasury is identifying high-level officials who act on behalf of the oppressive regime of former Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who continues to engage in atrocious levels of corruption and human rights abuses”, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “This action harmonizes our efforts with those of international partners such as Canada and the European Union that have imposed sanctions against former officials of Maduro’s regime.
Today’s identifications focus on current Venezuelan government officials, including those associated with the government’s rampant violence against peaceful opposition demonstrators, and those who continue to benefit from the former corrupt regime.
Today’s Treasury identifications reflect a unified effort against Maduro’s illegitimate regime, as all of the people who follow were previously sanctioned by the European Union (EU) or Canada. The following persons are being identified under E.O.13884 as members of the Government of Venezuela:
Remigio Ceballos Ichaso is admiral of the Venezuelan Navy and commander of the Strategic Operational Command of the National Armed Forces (CEOFANB). He said publicly in February 2019 that the military would obey Maduro’s orders to block the arrival of aid to Venezuela and not accept the orders of people who seek to create disunity by allowing their entry. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
Nestor Neptali Blanco Hurtado is a commander of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB). He has worked with officials of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar – DGCIM), where, according to reports, he is responsible for the excessive use of force and mistreatment of detainees at DGCIM facilities. In September 2019, he was sanctioned by the EU for his involvement in torture and other serious human rights violations.
José Adelino Ornelas Ferreira is the Secretary General of the National Defence Council (Secretary General of the National Defence Council). Members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces have used excessive force against peaceful demonstrators and journalists, including severe physical violence. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
Pedro Miguel Carreño Escobar is an illegitimate Deputy in Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC). He has served as a member of the Venezuelan National Assembly before the Latin American Parliament and as a former army captain. The ANC was created through an anti-democratic process instigated by Maduro’s regime to subvert the will of the Venezuelan people. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
Carlos Alberto Calderón Chirinos is a senior official of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). He was also accused of torturing a peaceful demonstrator who participated in a hunger strike to demand the release of students who had been imprisoned in May 2014 in Venezuela. In September 2019, he was sanctioned by the EU for his involvement in torture and other serious human rights violations.