November 5, 2019
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified five current officials of the Government of Venezuela pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13884, which blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela and those who have acted or purported to have acted on its behalf.
“Treasury is identifying high-level officials acting on behalf of the oppressive regime of former Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, which continues to engage in egregious levels of corruption and human rights abuses,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This action harmonizes our efforts with those of international partners like Canada and the European Union that have imposed sanctions against former Maduro regime officials.”
Today’s identifications focus on current officials of the Government of Venezuela, including those associated with the government’s rampant violence against peaceful opposition protesters, and those who continue to benefit from the corrupt former regime.
Treasury’s identifications today reflect a unified effort against the illegitimate former Maduro regime, as all of the individuals below were previously sanctioned by the European Union (EU) or Canada. The below individuals are being identified under E.O.13884 as members of the Government of Venezuela:
- Remigio Ceballos Ichaso is an Admiral in the Venezuelan Navy and Commander of the Strategic Operational Command of the National Armed Forces (CEOFANB). He stated publicly in February 2019 that the military would obey Maduro’s orders to block the arrival of aid in Venezuela and not take orders from individuals who seek to create disunion by allowing its entry. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
- Nestor Neptali Blanco Hurtado is a Major in the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB). He has worked with officials in the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar – DGCIM), where he is reportedly responsible for the excessive use of force and mistreatment of detainees in DGCIM facilities. In September 2019, he was sanctioned by the EU for his involvement in torture and other serious human rights violations.
- Jose Adelino Ornelas Ferreira is the Secretary General of the National Defense Council (Secretario General del Consejo de Defensa de la Nacion). Members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces have used excessive force against peaceful protestors and journalists, including severe physical violence. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
- Pedro Miguel Carreno Escobar is a Deputy of the illegitimate Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente or ANC). He has served as a Parliamentarian for the National Assembly of Venezuela to the Latin American Parliament and as a former Army Captain. The ANC was created through an undemocratic process instigated by Maduro’s regime to subvert the will of the Venezuelan people. He is sanctioned as a person subject to Special Economic Measures by the Government of Canada for playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
- Carlos Alberto Calderon Chirinos is a senior official in Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional – SEBIN). He was also accused of torturing a peaceful protester who engaged in a hunger strike to demand the release of students who had been imprisoned in May 2014 in Venezuela. In September 2019, he was sanctioned by the EU for his involvement in torture and other serious human rights violations.