02 March 2019, Washington — The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Venezuela on Friday, targeting six Venezuelan government officials tied to President Nicolas Maduro, in its latest move to squeeze the embattled leader.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Treasury cited the battle over humanitarian assistance and blamed the six current or former security officials, who it said controlled groups that blocked aid from reaching people in the Latin American country.
“We are sanctioning members of Maduro’s security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths, and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said after deadly violence blocked humanitarian aid from reaching the Venezuela over the weekend.
The United States “will continue to target Maduro loyalists prolonging the suffering of the victims of this man-made humanitarian crisis,” Mnuchin added.
Friday’s action is the second set of sanctions this week, after the United States on Monday targeted four Venezuelan state governors allied with Maduro. Washington on Monday also called on allies to freeze the assets of state-owned oil company PDVSA.
U.S. sanctions block any assets the individuals control in the United States and bars U.S. entities from doing any business or financial transactions with them.