The United States continues to ratchet up pressure on the Maduro regime, this time by placing new sanctions on individuals connected to the embattled government.

U.S.Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams announced sanctions against “dozens” of individuals connected to the regime. While Abrams did not name the individuals sanctioned, he suggested that they included members of regime officials.

Reuters reported later in the afternoon that the State Department had confirmed that a total of 49 individuals had been sanctioned.

Abrams said:

The United States has imposed new visa restrictions for individuals responsible for undermining Venezuela’s democracy. We are applying this policy to numerous Maduro-aligned officials and their families. Maduro supporters that abuse or violate human rights, steal from the Venezuelan people or undermine Venezuela’s democracy are not welcomed in the United States. Neither are their family members, who enjoy a privileged lifestyle at the expense of the liberty and prosperity of millions of Venezuelans.

Abrams also said that the U.S. “will continue to look at close associates” of Maduro in the future.

The sanctions against the unnamed individuals come at the same time as the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned six individuals it claims were involved in blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country this past weekend.

The six sanctioned individuals are:

  • Maj. Gen. Richard Jesus Lopez Vargas, Commanding General of the National Bolivarian Guard.
  • Maj. Gen. Jesus Maria Mantilla Oliveros, Commander of the Guayana Strategic Integral Defense Region.
  • Gen. Alberto Mirtiliano Bermudez Valderrey, Division General of the Bolivar Integral Defense Zone.
  • Gen. Jose Leonardo Norono Torres, Division General and Commander of the Tachira Integral Defense Zone.
  • Jose Miguel Dominguez Ramirez, Chief Commissioner of the Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales (Special Action Force, FAES) of the National Bolivarian Police.
  • Col. Cristhiam Abelardo Morales Zambrano, Director of the National Bolivarian Police.

National Security adviser John Bolton sent a few tweets this afternoon on the matter of the new sanctions. Below, one of his tweets:

Guaido Continues Regional Tour

Interim president Juan Guaido continued a regional tour today that has so far seen him visit Colombia and Brazil.

Guaido arrived in Paraguay today where he met Paraguayan president Marito Abdo. Below, a clip of Guaido arriving in Paraguay:

Guaido is scheduled to arrive in Argentina tomorrow, where he will meet with president Mauricio Macri

According to Peruvian media, Guaido is expected in Peru on Sunday.

Speaking from Brazil, Guaido said that he would return to Venezuela “this weekend, Monday at the latest”. Given that he disobeyed a judicial order from leaving the country, Venezuela’s attention is turned to Guaido’s return given the probability that he might be arrested in the attempt.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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