Treasury Removes Sanctions Imposed on Former High-Ranking Venezuelan Intelligence Official After Public Break with Maduro and Dismissal

Washington – Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) removed sanctions imposed on Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera (Cristopher), who last week broke ranks with the Maduro regime and rallied to the support of the Venezuelan constitution and the National Assembly. Cristopher is the former Director General of Venezuela’s National Intelligence Service, more commonly known as SEBIN.

On February 15, 2019, OFAC designated Cristopher pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692 for being a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela. Today’s action, taken in consultation with the U.S. Department of State, demonstrates that U.S. sanctions need not be permanent and are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior.

The delisting of Cristopher also shows the good faith of the United States that removal of sanctions may be available for designated persons 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, or combat corruption in Venezuela.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property, which had been blocked solely as a result of Cristopher’s designation, are unblocked and all otherwise lawful transactions involving U.S. persons and Cristopher are no longer prohibited.

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