According to Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy think tank The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Trump administration is doing more than simply shaking their heads at the sad state of affairs in Venezuela.
[T]the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on four current or former Venezuelan generals for their involvement in corruption and acts of political repression. These designations are part of an ongoing campaign against the human rights abuses and systematic corruption of President Nicolas Maduro’s faltering regime. The targeting of senior officers indicates an effective direction for U.S. policy: go after the military, Maduro’s strongest support base.
Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres (the minister of food with ties to the original 1992 coup that led to the rise of Hugo Chavez), Francisco Jose Rangel and Gomez Gerardo Jose Izquierdo Torres, both corrupt Maduro appointees, join Fabio Enrique Zavarse Pabon, a general in the Bolivarian National Guard reportedly responsible for police’s violent repression of street protestors, in being the latest to fall under sanctions by the U.S.
As Maduro prepares to unveil his oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro — that many believe is an elaborate scheme to get around international economic sanctions — reports are that the country, which is one of the richest in oil reserves, is out of gasoline and that children are dying of dehydration and starvation.