Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions Friday against four Venezuelan government officials accused of having associations with corruption and repression.
"President Maduro and his inner circle continue to put their own interests above those of the Venezuelan people," Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in the announcement.
"This action underscores the United States' resolve to hold Maduro and others engaged in corruption in Venezuela accountable. We call on concerned parties and international partners around the world to join us as we stand with the Venezuelan people to further isolate this oppressive regime."
Executive Order 13692 targeted Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres, Francisco Jose Rangel Gomez, Fabio Enrique Zavarse Pabon and Gerardo Jose Izquierdo Torres. The sanctions will freeze all assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the four military and government officials and prohibits U.S. persons from dealing with them.
Torres has been linked to corruption schemes related to food imports, which are controlled by the Venezuelan government, while Gomez is linked to a network of corrupt military officials.
Pabon is allegedly responsible for acts of repression by members of the Bolivarian National Guard against street protesters in the country and Torres has allegedly used his military positions to profit from corruption.
According to the treasury report, the four officials "have forsaken the professional republican mission" found in Venezuela's 1999 Constitution which states that military officials should work "with no political orientation ... and in no case at the service of any person or political partisanship."
The designations against the military officials illustrate the "corruption and repression" that has continued to grow under the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.