Nephew Of The First Lady Of Venezuela Off The US Sanctions List

The US sanctions 93 members related to the president of Nicaragua 1:26

(WABNEWS Spanish) — The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC, for its acronym in English) reported on Friday, without explaining the reasons, that it excluded from its list of sanctioned persons the former treasurer of Venezuela Carlos Erik Malpica Flores, who is nephew of the first lady of that country, Cilia Flores.

Malpica Flores, who also served as vice president of finance for the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and presidential commissioner for economic and financial affairs, was part of a group of 13 Venezuelan officials and former officials who were sanctioned by that agency of the Treasury Department. from the USA in July 2017.

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The Department had not responded to a request for additional details sent Friday by WABNEWS.

The sanctions -among other measures- prohibited US citizens from doing business with those indicated on the list. In addition, all of his assets subject to jurisdiction in the United States were frozen.

When they were added to the list of sanctioned people, the US government said that it was because these people had allegedly participated in actions that weakened democracy and human rights, in violence and repression, and -as in the case of Malpica Flores – for alleged corruption.

The Treasury Department said then that Malpica Flores was allegedly involved in the disappearance of $11 billion from PDVSA between 2004 and 2014.

Malpica Flores has not been charged with these allegations in the United States.

WABNEWS is trying to find out the whereabouts of Malpica Flores. Until this Friday, the Venezuelan government had not responded to a request for comment sent by WABNEWS.

The Treasury Department’s announcement comes after the government of President Joe Biden announced in May that it would ease some energy sanctions against Venezuela to favor political discussions between the country’s questionable President Nicolás Maduro and a delegation from the opposition Unitary Platform of Venezuela, two senior administration officials told WABNEWS.

For months, the US has been in talks with the Venezuelan government and opposition leader Juan Guaidó to advance a political settlement following Maduro’s disputed electoral victory in May 2018, which the US did not recognize as legitimate.

This Friday, although he did not refer directly to the case of Malpica Flores, Gerardo Blyde, who heads the United Platform of Venezuela, said on Twitter that his group “has worked very closely with the United States on specific actions aimed at reactivating of the negotiation process in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Mexico City, in search of solutions to the serious crisis that affects the Venezuelan people”.

WABNEWS asked Blyde and Jorge Rodríguez, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and representative of the Maduro government in the dialogue, for comments on the Treasury Department’s announcement this Friday. None have responded so far.

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