The United States announced a new set of sanctions against the Maduro regime today, this time taking aim at the Banco Central de Venezuela (Venezuelan Central Bank, BCV) and its director. The sanctions were announced by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton during an event this afternoon.
According to a press release posted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the sanctions are aimed at keeping the BCV from being used as “a tool of the illegitimate Maduro regime”, and suggests that regime officials are using the institution to “plunder” the country’s wealth.
The sanctions freeze any property and “interests in property” held by the BCV and its president, Ileana Josefa Ruzza Teran in the United States. According to the Department of the Treasury press release:
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of this entity and individual, and any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entity or individual, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.
When announcing the sanctions, Bolton alleged that the BCV has been “crucial to maintaining Maduro in power”, given the institution’s ability to carry out transactions involving the country’s gold reserves.
Maduro: Sanctions Only Make Us Stronger
Speaking during a televised event following the announcement of the U.S. sanctions against the BCV, Maduro said that the measures only made Venezuela and his government stronger.
Today, they [the United States] once against placed a set of unilateral sanctions that are totally illegal and immoral, this time against the sacred institution that is the Venezuelan Central Bank.
Maduro also sent a message directly to Bolton:
Let me tell you, mister imperialist John Bolton, that your sanctions make us stronger.
Guaido Named Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People
Time Magazine released its yearly list of the top 100 most influential people, and placed interim president Juan Guaido among them.
Below, a tweet that includes a link to an article written by former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos explaining why Guaido was placed on the list:
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