The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s foreign minister and a judge who approved the detention of a top aide to an opposition leader.
The sanctions mark the latest increase in pressure by the U.S. against Venezuela: For months, Washington has tried to push Nicolas Maduro from power, including by imposing rounds of sanctions, recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and reiterating that military force is not off the table. Maduro has held firm. And this week, the U.S. envoy to Venezuela spoke at a Washington event about what life in the country would look like after Maduro leaves office.
“This administration stands with the Venezuelan people, and alongside an international coalition committed to holding accountable those who are responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat was appointed as the Venezuelan foreign minister in August 2017 and has had a long career at high-level government positions, including spending between 2013 and 2016 as the country’s executive vice president, according to the Treasury. Arreaza also led the mining and science ministries at points during his government career, the Treasury said.