The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on five Venezuelan officials for allegedly committing violence against opposition protesters or having benefited from the “corrupt” government of Nicolás Maduro, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
The move coincided with the removal of some sanction restrictions for U.S. companies who were banned from dealing directly with the Venezuelan government under an Aug. 5 executive order, Reuters reported.
Government supporters chants slogans in favor of President Nicolas Maduro as they march in Caracas, Venezuela last month.
The blacklisted officials include an admiral of the Venezuelan Navy, a major in the National Guard, the secretary general of the National Defense Council, a deputy of the National Constituent Assembly, and a senior official in the National Intelligence Service.
“Treasury is identifying high-level officials acting on behalf of the oppressive regime of former Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which continues to engage in egregious levels of corruption and human rights abuses,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The U.S. and more than 50 governments recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of the country. They say Maduro wasn’t legitimately re-elected last year because opposition candidates weren’t permitted to run.
Maduro, a socialist who has presided over the collapse of his corruption and human rights violations, has repeatedly blamed the U.S. for Venezuela’s woes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.