U.S. sanctions Venezuela's foreign minister, Venezuelan judge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, saying it would pursue those in President Nicolas Maduro's government for corruption as well as officials conducting diplomacy on his behalf. Arreaza and a judge in the Court of Appeals for Caracas, Carol Padilla, were targeted in the latest round of U.S

Reuters April 27, 2019 05:05:42 IST
U.S. sanctions Venezuela's foreign minister, Venezuelan judge

US sanctions Venezuelas foreign minister Venezuelan judge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, saying it would pursue those in President Nicolas Maduro's government for corruption as well as officials conducting diplomacy on his behalf.

Arreaza and a judge in the Court of Appeals for Caracas, Carol Padilla, were targeted in the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Maduro's government over the crisis in Venezuela, the Treasury Department said.

Washington blames Maduro for the country's economic collapse and for undermining democracy. The Trump administration recognised Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American nation's interim president and has asked Maduro, a socialist in power since 2013, to step down.

"The United States will not stand by and watch as the illegitimate Maduro regime starves the Venezuelan people of their wealth, humanity, and right to democracy," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"Treasury will continue to target corrupt Maduro insiders, including those tasked with conducting diplomacy and carrying out justice on behalf of this illegitimate regime."

In a separate statement, the U.S. Department of State said Friday's designation was "a reminder" that Venezuelan authorities have detained Guaido's top aide, Roberto Marrero, since March and that such actions would have consequences.

"If Nicolas Maduro and those aligned with him continue to use imprisonment and intimidation against the legitimate government and people of Venezuela, the United States will respond," the department said, reiterating the U.S. demand for Marrero's release.

Since the United States recognised Guaido in January, Arreaza has been a regular visitor to the United States, specifically the United Nations in New York, where he has lobbied countries to build support for Maduro.

He is married to the eldest daughter of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's former president who died in 2013 of cancer. It was not immediately clear whether the sanctions would affect his travel to the U.N.

Arreaza has spoken at U.N. Security Council meetings on Venezuela and held lengthy press conferences. On Thursday he addressed a meeting of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on multilateralism.

He met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday and discussed the humanitarian situation in the country, a U.N. spokesman said. Arreaza also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Wednesday.

He is active on Twitter, directly taking on U.S. President Donald Trump and White House national security adviser John Bolton.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Makini Brice and Lesley Wroughton, and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.