South Floridian Republicans have been heavily critical of foreign communist regimes, and at the end of 2018 tougher sanctions were placed on Nicaraguan officials, including Nicaragua’s president and his wife.As 2019 rolls on, the focus is now on Venezuela, and this week saw more sanctions being placed on the Maduro regime.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added sanctions to “Venezuelan individuals and companies involved in a significant corruption scheme designed to take advantage of the Government of Venezuela’s currency exchange practices, generating more than $2.4 billion in corrupt proceeds.”
The sanctions placed by the Treasury Department “targets seven individuals, including former Venezuelan National Treasurer Claudia Patricia Diaz Guillen and Raul Antonio Gorrin Belisaria, who bribed the Venezuelan Office of the National Treasury in order to conduct illicit foreign exchange operations in Venezuela. In addition to Diaz and Gorrin, OFAC designated or blocked five other individuals and 23 entities… for their roles in the bribery scheme, and identified one private aircraft as blocked property.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemsphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, commented on the sanctions.
He explained the necessity for them, saying that “As Maduro prepares for another illegitimate term as dictator, the United States is sending a strong message against his corrupt narcoterrorist regime. The individuals and entities sanctioned have enriched themselves through illegal exchange transactions. Today, our nation is holding them accountable and continuing to stand firmly with the Venezuelan people’s cause for freedom and democracy.”Representative Mario Diaz-Balart also shared his thoughts, commending the Trump administration for imposing the sanctions.
Diaz-Balart added, “It is shameful that while the Venezuelan people are suffering under crushing oppression, a cratering economy, and scarcity, that the Maduro regime continues to plunder the people’s resources. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to ensure that those found responsible for corruption, human rights abuses, and denigrating Venezuela’s once democratic institutions will be held accountable for their crimes.”