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U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuelan officials over ties with FARC


09:10, September 09, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on four Venezuelan government officials for their support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the narco-terrorist organization.

The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC) accused Amilcar Jesus Figueroa Salazar, Cliver Antonio Alcala Cordones, Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales and Ramon Isidro Madriz Moreno of often offering direct support for FARC's narcotics and arms trafficking activities.

Salazar, a member of Venezuela's delegation to the Latin American Parliament, is accused of serving as a primary arms dealer for the FARC, and a main conduit for FARC leaders based in Venezuela, who also provided training for the group.

Cordones, as a major general of the Fourth Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army, has been allegedly using his position to establish an arms-for-drugs route with the FARC, while Rosales, a congressman for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and former mayor of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas, has been accused of facilitating arms sales between the Venezuelan government and the FARC.

The U.S. Treasury called Moreno a key officer of Venezuela's intelligence service (SEBIN) who has coordinated security for the FARC.

"Today's action exposes four Venezuelan government officials as key facilitators of arms, security, training and other assistance in support of the FARC's operations in Venezuela," OFAC Director Adam Szubin said in a statement. "OFAC will continue to aggressively target the FARC's support structures in Venezuela and throughout the region."

The Treasury's move bars U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with the four officials, while the officials' assets under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

The U.S. State Department designated the FARC, Colombia's largest guerrilla group, as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.


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