Press Releases

Treasury Sanctions Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs

Washington – Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated, pursuant to E.O. 13692, as amended, Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat, the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Carol Bealexis Padilla de Arretureta, both of whom were determined to be current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela.

“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,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Treasury will continue to target corrupt Maduro insiders, including those tasked with conducting diplomacy and carrying out justice on behalf of this illegitimate regime.  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.”

Today, OFAC designated the following persons:

  • Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat was appointed the Venezuelan Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs in August 2017.  Arreaza also held the following official positions prior to his appointment as Venezuela’s Foreign Minister:  from 2010 to 2011, Arreaza was the Vice Minister of Scientific and Technological Development of the Ministry of Popular Power for Science, Technology, and Intermediate Industries; from 2011 until 2013, Arreaza was the Minister of Popular Power for Science, Technology, and Innovation; between 2013 and 2016, Arreaza was the Executive Vice President of Venezuela; in 2017, Arreaza was appointed the Minister of the People’s Power of Ecological Mining Development.
  • Carol Bealexis Padilla de Arretureta is the judge in charge of the First Special Court of First Instance in Control Functions.  In December 2017, she was appointed as a substitute judge of the Court of Appeals of the criminal judicial circuit of the metropolitan area of Caracas.

For information about the methods that Venezuelan senior political figures, their associates, and front persons use to move and hide corrupt proceeds, including how they try to exploit the U.S. financial system and real estate market, please refer to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) advisories FIN-2017-A006, “Advisory on Widespread Public Corruption in Venezuela;” FIN-2017-A003, “Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals;” and FIN-2018-A003, “Advisory on Human Rights Abuses Enabled by Corrupt Senior Foreign Political Figures and their Financial Facilitators.”

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals, and any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated individuals, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior.  The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 13692 or E.O. 13850, both as amended, who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the illegitimate Maduro regime, and combat corruption in Venezuela.

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