The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury appointed Judge Lorena Carolina Cornielles Ruiz and prosecutor Ramón Antonio Torres Espinoza -both members of Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship- who have presided over trial processes and convicted in the month of November 2020 six US citizens in Venezuela.
This US citizens, who are known as the CITGO six, were unjustly imprisoned in Venezuela in November 2017 after being lured to Caracas under false pretenses.
The trials of each of the defendants were based on politically motivated accusations and were clouded by the lack of procedural guarantees. .
The new sanctions were appointed in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 13692
LORENA CAROLINA CORNIELLES RUIZ is a judge of the Executive Directorate of the Supreme Court of Venezuela aligned with Maduro and presided over the trial.
Cornielles eventually sentenced each of the six Americans on corruption charges with prison terms of between eight and thirteen years.
RAMÓN ANTONIO TORRES ESPINOZA is a corruption prosecutor in the Public Ministry of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Torres was the main prosecutor who represented Maduro’s regime during the trial.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in the property of the designated persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.
In addition, any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, by 50 percent or more of the designated persons is also blocked. OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or persons within (or in transit) of the United States that involve any property or interest in property of blocked or designated persons.
The United States has made it clear that removal of sanctions may be available to individuals and entities, including those designated pursuant to EO 13692, that take concrete and meaningful actions to stop supporting Maduro’s illegitimate regime, including agencies of the Government of Venezuela that support Maduro.