US Sanctions 2 Collaborators of Nicolás Maduro’s Son

US Sanctions 2 Collaborators of Nicolás Maduro’s Son

By Voice of America (VOA)/Edited by Diálogo
August 28, 2020

The United States sanctioned two Venezuelan brothers on July 23 for supporting Nicolás Maduro’s son and the “corrupt activities by members of the illegitimate regime” of Venezuela.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Santiago José Morón Hernández and Ricardo José Morón Hernández as collaborators of Maduro’s son, Nicolás Ernesto Maduro Guerra.

“While the Venezuelan people suffer, the illegitimate Maduro regime has focused its efforts on retaining its grip on power,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said.

“The United States is committed to targeting individuals who facilitate and enable this corrupt regime as they continue to ignore the welfare of the Venezuelan people,” he added.

The document says that members of the Morón Hernández family are trusted partners of Nicolás Maduro and his son, Nicolás Ernesto, and that Santiago and Ricardo distribute assets for Maduro and his family worldwide.

OFAC says that Maduro’s son hired Santiago and Ricardo to conduct business on his behalf, and both brothers have used different companies to conduct transactions. In addition, Santiago is Maduro Guerra’s main assistant and accompanies him regularly, while Ricardo handles operational activities.

The press release says that the three men and other partners are central figures in Venezuela’s gold industry.

Nicolás Ernesto Maduro Guerra is accused of conducting illicit transactions, including the sale of gold mined in Venezuela and dispatched from the Central Bank of Venezuela, which was designated by OFAC in 2017. According to the institution, Santiago and Ricardo Morón supervise the financial mechanisms of the illicit gold trade.

Authorities designated Santiago for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services to support Maduro’s son.

Ricardo has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services, in support of public corruption by senior officials of Venezuela’s illegitimate regime.

OFAC rules that all property and interests of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of persons in the United States are to be frozen and must be reported to its authorities.

It also freezes any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, by 50 percent or more by the designated individuals.

The office states that U.S. sanctions are not necessarily permanent, but are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior.

The sanctions on individuals and entities might be revoked if they take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, and speak out against abuses committed by the “illegitimate Maduro regime, or combat corruption in Venezuela.”